APEC 2015 APEC 2015 APEC 2015

$4B Manila mega-casino complex to open in March


02:25 AM February 7th, 2013

February 7th, 2013 02:25 AM

A general view shows a vast land where the multibillion-dollar Entertainment City will open when the first of four franchise-holders starts commercial operations in mid-March 2013. AFP PHOTO/NOEL CELIS

MANILA, Philippines—A $4-billion mega-casino complex is set to open in Manila in mid-March when the first of four franchise-holders starts commercial operations, the parent firm said in a disclosure released Wednesday.

The $1.2-billion Solaire Manila Resorts is one of four gaming operations licensed to operate at Manila’s bayside Entertainment City, a government project designed to compete with Macau, Las Vegas and Singapore as a gaming hub.

Boasting 500 hotel rooms set in modern resorts, Solaire will open its doors on March 16, parent company Bloomberry Resorts Corp. said in a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange.

“[We] confirm that [Bloomberry’s] Solaire Manila Resorts and Casino has collected the top former operating officers of world-renowned casinos in Las Vegas and other parts of the world,” it said in a letter to the exchange.

The Feb. 5 letter, released by the bourse Wednesday, said these personnel include around 400 Filipinos who have worked in gaming and hotels across the world.

Solaire plans to add 300 more hotel rooms after two years, said Bloomberry, a listed firm controlled by port tycoon Enrique Razon.

Two other franchise-holders—one involving Australian billionaire James Packer and Macau gaming tycoon Lawrence Ho as shareholders and another with Japanese gambling tycoon Kazuo Okada—are also building at the complex.

The 100-hectare (247-acre) Entertainment City, a project of the state-owned gaming regulator Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., required each of the franchise-holders to invest at least $1 billion.

A unit of global leisure and entertainment group Genting Hong Kong Ltd. is a key investor in the fourth franchise.

Bloomberry said it could not confirm a local news report that the entire Entertainment City project would generate annual revenues of at least $10 billion by 2017, putting it among the world’s gaming big leagues.

Spokespersons for the regulator could not be reached for comment on Wednesday, while Solaire has not responded to AFP’s requests for an interview.

Disclaimer: Comments do not represent the views of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments which are inconsistent with our editorial standards. FULL DISCLAIMER

For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.