Alliance Global Group Inc on Tuesday said the first phase of a US$1.1-billion Manila casino project called Resorts World Bayshore – in which it is an investor – would be completed by 2018, reported local media quoting the firm’s president Kingson Sian.
“We should be starting construction of phase 1 within the next 90 days and completion should be by 2018,” Mr Sian reportedly said on the sidelines of the firm’s annual stockholders’ meeting.
Mr Sian added that phase 1 of the casino development would include 3 luxury hotels offering more than 800 rooms, shops, a theatre, and a casino. He declined to confirm whether there would also eventually be a theme park at the development.
The initial phase would cover fewer than one-third of the entire 31-hectare (76.6-acre) site (pictured) allocated by the country’s casino regulator Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor). The venue will be one of four multibillion dollar private sector casinos licensed by Pagcor in its bid to create a gaming zone called Entertainment City at Manila Bay and designed to rival the Cotai Strip in Macau.
Mr Sian said his company would bring to Resorts World Bayshore the Japanese hotel brand Okura and also Westin Hotels and Resorts, a brand owned by Starwood Hotels and Resorts. The third brand is still being finalised, said Mr Sian.
Alliance Global is already a joint venture investor with Genting Hong Kong Ltd – via an entity called Travellers International Hotel Group Inc – in the Resorts World Manila casino resort at Newport City, near Manila International Airport which had a first phase soft launch in August 2009. Resorts World Manila’s plot is only one third the size of Bayshore according to filings.
Mr Sian on Tuesday said the development of Resorts World Bayshore would be done via an entity called Resorts World Bayshore City Inc, which would “soon” become part of Travellers International. It wasn’t reported how that would be effected.
The Bayshore scheme has had a number of delays. In 2012, Andrew Tan, chairman and chief executive of Alliance Global, had said he expected the Bayshore scheme to be completed in 2016. In 2013, Mr Sian had told local media he thought it could be completed in 2017.
In May 2013, Travellers International postponed an initial public offering (IPO) of shares on the Philippine Stock Exchange. Analysts had said the exercise would help fund the Bayshore project. Alliance Global at the time cited volatility in international equities markets for the IPO postponement.
The company eventually raised PHP16.8 billion (US$378.8 million) in net proceeds from its IPO in November 2013.
Resorts World Manila – in contrast to Resorts World Bayshore – has forged ahead. In 2013 Travellers got permission from Pagcor to spend US$600-million plus on expanding Resorts World Manila, using part of the cash it raised in its IPO .
In April, Travellers International in a filing said the extension would add significantly to the 287 gaming tables, 1,822 slot machines and 210 electronic table games it already had inside Resorts World Manila. It said it had been given permission to extend its gaming inventory at the site to a maximum of 420 gaming tables and 4,148 gaming machines.
Alliance Global on Tuesday in a filing said the Resorts World Manila expansion, which it priced at US$650 million, would “potentially double the number of hotel rooms as well as gaming capacity by 2017.”
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”I haven’t seen the exact proposal, but in general, yes. I think that’s a good idea [to impose an additional tax on POGOs]”
Philippine Finance Secretary