Entertainment City’s casino project hiring 8,000 people
MANILA, Philippines–The group of Japanese billionaire Kazuo Okada is preparing to hire about 8,000 workers to staff the initial phase of its integrated casino project in Entertainment City along Manila Bay in Parañaque City, which is scheduled to open in late 2015.
Officials of Okada-led Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment Inc., which will operate the $2-billion Manila Bay Resorts, told reporters late Wednesday that the recruitment drive was aimed at luring experienced hotel, entertainment and casino workers from the Philippines and overseas.
The announcement comes amid an ongoing dispute between Tiger Resort and partner Century Properties Group Inc., with a local court recently barring Okada from terminating the partnership seen as crucial in addressing a thorny foreign land ownership issue.
Despite this, officials of Tiger Resort, a unit of Okada’s Universal Entertainment, said it was business as usual at the construction site of their project, which aims to be the third of four integrated casinos to open its doors in the massive Entertainment City complex.
“We are trying very hard to open by the end of next year,” Matt Hurst, executive vice president for casino operations and marketing, told reporters.
He said the first phase of the project, which sits on roughly 44 hectares of reclaimed land, would involve a “full” casino, with 500 gaming tables and 3,000 slot machines; hotels; night clubs and restaurants.
An initial target of 7,500 square meters of retail space, which will be expanded in succeeding phases, has been set. In line with this, Hurst said the company was already talking to retailers like the SSI Group, which brings fashion labels like Gucci and Hermes to the Philippines.
The project is expected to open with an initial two hotels, with a total of 1,000 rooms, that Tiger Resort will manage on its own, said Adrian Ort, senior vice president and general manager of the hotel and food & beverage operations.
Because of the opening target, Tiger Resort is expected to soon start hiring workers for the site, he said.
“I’m sure we will find the right people but what we want to do is to be selective. We want to find the right people with the right attitudes,” Ort said.
The state-run Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) is banking on Entertainment City, the country’s response to gaming hubs like Las Vegas and Macau, to draw more business and tourism to the Philippines.
Entertainment City is expected to provide employment to as many as 80,000 people once completed.
Other players in Entertainment City are Enrique Razon Jr.’s Solaire Resort and Casino, which opened in 2013 and City of Dreams Manila, a venture between Filipino billionaire Henry Sy and Macau’s Melco Crown Entertainment, which is set to open later this year.–Miguel R. Camus
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