Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment Inc – a firm controlled by Japanese gaming entrepreneur Kazuo Okada – has been formally granted more time to build its approximately US$2-billion Manila Bay Resorts casino scheme (pictured) at Entertainment City, Manila, according to media reports.
Local outlet Business World quoted a message sent from Francis Hernando, vice president for gaming licensing and development at the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp, the country’s casino regulator, also known as Pagcor. Reuters news agency also reported the timetable extension, mentioning comments from Mr Hernando.
Lorenzo Manalang, Tiger Resort’s executive director for advertising, branding, and communication, said in a statement emailed to GGRAsia on Thursday: “We are currently awaiting Pagcor’s decision on our Project Implementation Plan extension. Once we hear from them we will share our official statement.”
Pagcor’s board of directors has reportedly given official approval to shift an original timetable and push back the completion of Manila Bay Resorts to December 31, 2016, after Tiger Resort missed an earlier March 31, 2015 deadline.
“The approval of a new timetable also means that the licence is not suspended,” Mr Hernando reportedly said to Business World. It referred to a sanction available to Pagcor and is understood to be a reference to the provisional Pagcor licence needed by Tiger Resort in order to build its development; and which is active prior to the granting of a formal gaming licence.
Tiger Resort, which already had a US$2.2 million guarantee confiscated by Pagcor for missing the March 31 milestone, told GGRAsia in an email on May 18 it was “actively targeting to open the property by 2016”. At that time it also said the firm had already committed approximately US$750 million to the Manila Bay Resorts project, with a further US$1 billion pending.
Reuters also cited Pagcor’s Mr Hernando indicating Tiger Resort needs to set aside a new PHP100 million (US$2.14 million) guarantee fee, improve its corporate governance and submit a bank guarantee that it could financially support the project.
He also warned the company that it could face more penalties should there be any further delays in the 44-hectare (108.7-acre) project. “It [a further missed deadline] is a material breach of the provisional licence so suspension and revocation is possible,” Mr Hernando reportedly told Reuters.
(Updated 12.20pm, Sept 17)
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