Philippine conglomerate Filinvest Development Corp has reaffirmed it will put more than US$200 million into the development of a casino resort in the Clark Freeport and Special Economic Zone, to the north of Manila on the main Philippine island of Luzon.
The company confirmed its aspirations – that were approved via a provisional licence from the Philippine gaming regulator last year – in a written statement on Thursday. The firm’s chief executive said it hoped to work with what it what termed a “leading casino operator” on the scheme. It didn’t name a potential partner.
Filinvest said the casino resort would go ahead near the Mimosa Plus development, located on a 201-hectare (497-acre) site about 80 kilometres (50 miles) by road from Manila. The Mimosa Plus development is about 5km by car from the Clark International Airport, placing any casino built there within just a few hours by air of either Macau, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Japan or South Korea.
“More than US$200 million has been allotted to the project, which includes a casino, lifestyle mall, five-star hotel and events venue,” Filinvest said in its statement to the Philippine Stock Exchange. The conglomerate was required to file the announcement to the financial regulator to announce its first-quarter results.
The document said Filinvest intended to make “significant” investments in what it termed the high-growth Clark corridor, the latter a term it uses to describe the special economic zone around the airport.
Filinvest confirmed it would hire a casino operator to run the gaming side of the business and has not yet offered a timeline for the project’s construction.
“We see a lot of potential in this area, as Central Luzon registered 7.2 percent GDP growth in 2018, higher than the national growth rate,” the statement quoted Filinvest president and chief executive Josephine Yap as saying.
Filinvest announced in April last year that the Philippine gaming regulator, the Philippine Gaming and Amusement Corporation, a body also known as Pagcor, had granted Filinvest subsidiary Mimosa Cityscapes Inc a provisional gaming licence in the Mimosa Plus development.
At the time, Ms Yap said: “Now that we have secured the provisional licence, we foresee further upsurge in tourist arrivals upon completion of the various project components. It is our intention to work with a leading casino operator who will align with our vision of a premier destination.”
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