International edition
June 17, 2021

Belle has a license to build casinos in the Manila Bay area

Melco, Sy to develop us$ 1 billion casino in Manila

(Philippines / Macau).- Macau casino operator Melco Crown Entertainment is set to enter the Philippine market with a deal to partner with local property developer Belle, controlled by the country's richest man, Henry Sy. The deal will ratchet up competition in Manila, where the government is hoping to create the Philippines' version of the Las Vegas Strip.

B

elle is one of four companies that have licenses to build casinos in the Manila Bay area. The company has already started construction on a us$ 1 billion casino project there.

The other license holders are Bloomberry Resorts, controlled by local ports magnate Enrique Razon Jr.; a joint venture between Malaysian casino company Genting Hong Kong and Philippine conglomerate Alliance Global Group; and Universal Entertainment, a pachinko company run by Japan's Kazuo Okada.

Cora Guidote, spokeswoman for Belle's parent company, SM Investments, said: "They're just talking. Nothing is final."

Melco Crown, backed by Lawrence Ho and James Packer -the sons of Macau gambling kingpin Stanley Ho and the late Australian casino-and-media magnate Kerry Packer - is one of six casino license holders in Macau, the world's largest gambling market. The company runs two casino-resort properties in the Chinese territory and have a 60% equity interest in a third project still under development.

Melco Crown spokeswoman Maggie Ma declined to comment.

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