We will open everything in one go in mid-2014," Clarence Chung, chairman and president of Melco Philippines, told reporters after a stockholders' meeting. The project is already fully funded, he said.
Melco Crown, run by Australian billionaire James Packer and the son of Macau gambling tycoon Stanley Ho, has teamed up with Philippine leisure firm Belle Corp to develop and operate the resort in the 100 hectare Entertainment City gaming complex in Manila. It is Melco Crown's first casino outside Macau.
Chung said Melco will take advantage of its Macau "connections and VIP database" in promoting its Manila operations. "The Chinese would definitely be one of the major targets and, obviously, we're targeting the Southeast Asians," he said.
Industry regulator Philippine Amusement Gaming Corp (Pagcor) expects the country's gaming industry to generate total revenue of us$ 2.5 billion this year with the opening in March of Bloomberry's Solaire.
By 2017, Pagcor sees annual revenue from gaming hitting us$ 10 billion with all four casino resorts in Entertainment City up and running, surpassing the us$ 6 billion markets boasted by Singapore and Las Vegas.
The biggest of the four projects is a us$ 2 billion casino-hotel complex planned by a unit of Japan's Universal Entertainment. A joint venture between Genting Hong Kong and Alliance Global Group has also been awarded a license to operate in Entertainment City.