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.