he pachinko mogul and chairman of Universal Entertainment made the announcement on Thursday through an English interpreter at the topping off ceremony at the construction site.
Manila Bay Resorts, owned by Okada-controlled Universal affiliate Tiger Resorts Leisure and Entertainment, was supposed to open last March but had been delayed due to its increased scale.
The initial phase will now be up and running by December 2016, the Company told reporters at yesterday’s ceremony that marked completion of the building’s outer structure.
Phase one plans to open two hotel towers with 1,000 luxury rooms, 3,000 slot machines and 500 gaming tables. It will also feature 80,000 sqm of retail space, beach club and nightclub. The first phase covers 25ha and will cost approximately USD 2B. The second phase will cover the remaining 20ha owned by Tiger Resorts and house a further 1,000 hotel rooms.
Tokyo-based Universal Entertainment received one of four licenses to build an integrated resort in Entertainment City. Authorised by state-owned gaming regulator PAGCOR, the 120ha casino hub in Manila has benefited from the downturn in Macau. Manila Bay Resorts will be the third casino open after Solaire Casino Resort and City of Dreams Manila.
“The vision is to provide a place that people can enjoy. We are very proud of bringing this place to the Philippines. To PAGCOR, we are committed to provide the best casino,” commented Okada, adding that the launch of the initial phase will bring 8,000 new jobs.
Okada’s group has partnered with local businessman Antonio Cojuangco for the facility, after selling its stake in a company that controls the project’s land site to a firm owned by Cojuangco. The venture may consider listing the project once its starts operating, as part of a long-term financing plan, Cojuangco said Thursday in a separate briefing in Manila.