Hong Kong-listed International Entertainment Corp says the carrying out of a cooperation agreement with the Philippine gaming regulator – involving creating a management committe for its existing casino in Manila – has to be “postponed” for now.
The company said the decision was linked to pandemic-related developments, that had seen the Philippine government impose a so-called enhanced community quarantine from August 6 until August 20 in Metro Manila, due to Covid-19 infections in the capital.
Under the protocol, Metro Manila was “currently under strict shelter-at-home restrictions,” said International Entertainment.
“Given the restrictions, the execution of the cooperation agreement” between Marina Square Properties Inc, a an indirect wholly-owned unit of International Entertainment, and the regulator, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor), was “to be postponed until the release of the restrictions,” said the Hong Kong-listed firm.
In a July filing, International Entertainment noted that Marina Square Properties was to sign a cooperation agreement with Pagcor regarding the management of its existing casino in Manila.
At the time, it was said that the move would allow Marina Square Properties to “accumulate relevant experience in gaming operations”, prior to the group being allowed to operate a new gaming venue to be developed as part of its expansion plan.
Marina Square Properties runs the New Coast Hotel Manila in the Philippine capital, a property formerly known as New World Manila Bay Hotel. The firm is planning to expand the hotel complex. Such plans included “the establishment and operation of a casino and the development of an integrated resort” in Manila.
Pagcor had previously “agreed in principle” to grant a provisional gaming licence to Marina Square Properties for the new resort, and the sides had been negotiating the terms of the licence.
The group’s plan for the new project envisages the construction of two to three towers, with about 800 five-star hotel rooms; and a casino with more than 250 gaming tables, 1,600 slot machines, 100 tables for junket operations.
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