Japanese pachinko and pachislot machine maker Universal Entertainment Corp – an investor in the Manila Bay Resorts casino project in the Philippines – moved into profit in the three months to June 30.
The results were boosted by a 202 percent year-on-year rise in net sales, coinciding with the launch of new pachislot titles in April and May.
The Tokyo-based firm saw net sales jump to approximately JPY17.18 billion (US$168.3 million) from JPY5.69 billion a year earlier it said in a filing to Jasdaq on Friday.
Universal Entertainment, chaired by former Wynn Resorts Ltd investor Kazuo Okada (pictured), produced operating income of approximately JPY3.75 billion for the first quarter fiscal year, compared to a loss of approximately JPY2.53 billion in the year prior period.
It posted net income of JPY720 million compared with net losses of JPY1.25 billion one year before.
The filing reports “steady progress” on construction on the hotel towers and casino at Manila Bay Resorts, adding that the framework of the property is built to sixth floor level.
“About 4,000 workers are at the site every day and there is steady progress in development,” adds the filing, without giving an opening date.
“The development strategy of this project, including the opening schedule and financial policy, which is currently being finalised, will be disclosed in a timely manner,” it stated.
The resort will be operated by Mr Okada’s firm Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment Inc.
In late July, Manila-listed Century Properties Group Inc said in a filing it had obtained a Philippines court order stopping a group of companies controlled by Mr Okada from terminating a deal to develop jointly Manila Bay Resorts.
Mr Okada needs a local development partner to take majority ownership of the land on which the resort is being built. By Philippine law, foreign investors are only permitted to hold up to 40 percent of a piece of land in the country.
Only after solving that matter can Mr Okada obtain a casino operating permit from the country’s regulator, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp, a senior official from the latter recently told GGRAsia.
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"If the [Macau casino] concessions are put up for bid, there will also be a lot of giant Chinese companies, some having nothing to do with gaming, which would like to take over these enormously successful casinos”
Professor emeritus at Whittier Law School in California, in the United States, and a visiting professor at University of Macau