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$1.2-B City of Dreams Manila to open in November

Second integrated casino to open in Entertainment City
/ 01:15 AM September 29, 2014

City of Dreams Manila, the second of four integrated casinos in Entertainment City along Manila Bay, is set to open in two months, the holder of its gaming license said.

“We will open in November,” Willy Ocier, chair of listed Premium Leisure Corp., said in a text message last week, as two other rival casinos in the area also announced their respective completion dates over the next four years.

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Premium Leisure, formerly Sinophil Corp. and backed by the SM Group of Filipino billionaire Henry Sy, owns 100 percent of Premium Leisure and Amusement Inc., which is part of a consortium that holds a provisional license to develop and operate a casino in the Entertainment City complex.

Ocier said the $1.2-billion City of Dreams Manila, which will be operated by Macau’s Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd., was aiming to open 80 percent of its hotel rooms by November “with a gradual ramp up by yearend to 950 rooms.”

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City of Dreams Manila will be the second integrated casino to open in Entertainment City, which is positioning itself as the Philippines’ version of gambling hubs in Las Vegas and Macau. It joins Enrique Razon Jr.’s Bloomberry Resorts Corp., which operates the Solaire Resort & Casino project that opened in 2013.

Manila Bay Resorts, owned by Japanese billionaire Kazuo Okada, is expected to open in late 2015 while Bayshore City Resorts World, a venture between Filipino billionaire Andrew Tan and Malaysia’s Genting Group, will open in the fourth quarter of 2018, they announced separately last week.

The state-run Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) is banking on the whole gaming complex to be the main contributor in the government’s goal to hit $7 billion in gaming revenue by 2019 against $2.2 billion in 2013.

Melco Crown said its project, located on a 6.2-hectare site, was expected to have a total of six hotel towers, including Crown Towers hotel, Nobu Hotel and a hotel managed by the Hyatt Group.

The casino would involve VIP and mass-market gaming facilities with up to 380 gaming tables, 1,700 slot machines and 1,700 electronic table games upon opening, Melco Crown said in a previous statement.

Premium Leisure last week went on voluntary trading suspension as it undertakes a global roadshow aimed at raising funds. Premium Leisure is controlled by listed Belle Corp., partly owned by the Sy family.

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