Belle Corp, a local partner in the City of Dreams (CoD) Manila casino resort (pictured) in the Philippines, said in a Wednesday filing that it stands by comments attributed to its vice chairman Willy Ocier, regarding the possible expansion of the resort and the potential establishment by Belle of a new casino outside the Metro Manila area.
The existing venue’s operator Melco Crown (Philippines) Resorts Corp had said in a Tuesday filing to the Philippine Stock Exchange that it had “no prior knowledge” of Monday comments by Mr Ocier which it quoted from the Manila Standard newspaper. Melco Crown Philippines added he was “not an authorised spokesperson” for the company.
But Belle countered on Wednesday: “We confirm the quotes in the news article… We note, however, that any matters regarding expansion of City of Dreams Manila are still being explored at this time, and no definite plans have been made as of yet.”
Belle leases out – on a long-term basis – land and buildings for City of Dreams Manila. Additionally, via an entity called Premium Leisure Corp, Belle is entitled to a share of gaming revenue from that casino resort.
Belle had said in a Tuesday press release that its share of gaming income from City of Dreams Manila – through its 78.7-percent owned subsidiary, Premium Leisure – more than doubled to PHP722 million (US$14.5 million), from PHP349 million in the first quarter of 2016.
Melco Crown Philippines is ultimately controlled – via Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd – by Melco International Development Ltd, chaired by Macau casino investor Lawrence Ho Yau Lung.
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"When the gaming concessions expire, the Macau government is inclined to launch a public tender [for new gaming rights]"
Lionel Leong Vai Tac
Macau Secretary for Economy and Finance