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Okada-Gokongwei casino complex to debut in ’14


05:28 PM December 20th, 2012

By: Doris C. Dumlao, December 20th, 2012 05:28 PM

Kazuo Okada (left) and John Gokongwei

MANILA, Philippines—The $1-billion Manila Bay Resorts, an integrated entertainment and resort venture between the groups of tycoon John Gokongwei and Japanese pachinko mogul Kazuo Okada, is set to debut in 2014 in Manila’s future gaming strip Pagcor City.

In a briefing on Thursday, Robinsons Land Corp. general manager for office division Henry Yap said the 44-hectare entertainment complex to be developed by Tiger Resort Leisure & Entertainment Inc. in Pagcor City would have thee hotels, a shopping mall with cinemas, a trade hall, luxury retail stores and restaurants.

“The intention is to have 2,000 hotel rooms divided over three hotel brands,” Yap said, adding that the gaming facility would have 30,000 square meters in gaming space, 500 gaming tables and 3,000 slot machines.

A Las Vegas-style dancing water fountain will be part of the attraction while several residential towers will also be developed as part of the project, Yap said. However, he said RLC was still undergoing a due diligence on the residential component of the project and could not provide details yet.

The $1-billion project cost, Yap said, would not include the high-rise residential component in the complex.

RLC earlier signed a deal to acquire a minority interest in gaming facility operator Tiger Resorts, Leisure and Entertainment Inc., a wholly owned unit of Okada’s Universal Entertainment. At the same time, RLC will acquire a majority stake in Eagle I Land Holdings Inc., the landowner of the project site. Yap said details on project-sharing would be disclosed in late January when the deal is finalized.

In all, he said, the development would have 500,000 square meters in gaming facility.

Of the three hotel brands, two will be luxurious hotels while the third one will be a less expensive brand, Yap said. “The target is to get as many rooms as possible. Hopefully, all 2,000 rooms,” he said, when asked how many rooms would be operational at the time of the casino opening.

The requirement from the state-owned gaming regulator Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. is for the gaming licensees to open at least 800 rooms by the time the casino itself opens.

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