Melco Crown (Philippines) Resorts Corp said it has received authorisation from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor) to start casino operations at City of Dreams Manila (pictured in a rendering).
“City of Dreams Manila will commence operations on December 14 2014, with a grand opening of the integrated resort planned before Chinese New Year in 2015,” the firm told the Philippine Stock Exchange on Wednesday.
The US$1.3 billion scheme is a partnership between Melco Crown Philippines, a subsidiary of Macau-based casino operator Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd, and Philippine-based Premium Leisure and Amusement Inc, a unit of Premium Leisure Corp, controlled by the family of Philippine billionaire Henry Sy.
Lawrence Ho Yau Lung, co-chairman and chief executive of Melco Crown, told GGRAsia last week that the property is to have only a soft opening on Sunday.
The casino resort, the second to open at Manila’s Entertainment City, will be operated by MCE Leisure (Philippines) Corp, a wholly-owned indirect subsidiary of Melco Crown Philippines.
City of Dreams Manila will have six hotel towers from three hotel brands, including Crown Towers, Nobu and Hyatt Hotels and Resorts. Upon opening, the casino’s gaming area is expected to have 380 gaming tables, 1,700 slot machines and 1,700 electronic table games.
On a conference call with analysts in November, Mr Ho called the soft opening a “sneak peak” during which the property will be run “more like [a] full-on stress test simulation”.
He added: “It’s the first time we’re in that market, it’s a new jurisdiction and given that we didn’t really build up the entire property from the ground, I think this is the safest approach.”
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"The President [Rodrigo Duterte] had already decided and announced that no construction of a casino on Boracay will be allowed”
Secretary Eduardo Año
Officer-in-charge at the Philippine Department of Local and Interior Government