The Philippine gaming regulator has confiscated a PHP100-million (US$2.2 million) guarantee payment from Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment Inc – developer of casino resort Manila Bay Resorts (pictured in a rendering) – citing delays in the project.
Under the original plan, the casino resort scheme – originally slated as a US$2.3 billion venture – should have been completed by March 31, 2015.
Tiger Resort had said it was likely to open the first phase of its casino project by the end of 2015 or in 2016. In March, media in the Philippines reported that Tiger Resort would be allowed to “complete” the resort by the first quarter of 2017.
Tiger Resort is an affiliate of Japan’s Universal Entertainment Corp, controlled by Japanese gaming entrepreneur Kazuo Okada.
Reuters quoted Francis Hernando, vice president of Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor), saying the gaming regulator confiscated the guarantee fee that Tiger Resort had paid when it won the project contract.
“[The fee] was forfeited. Shortly after the [March 31] deadline, we deliberated internally,” Mr Hernando told Reuters. Pagcor had already warned last year that it was looking into penalising Tiger Resort for the delay in the project.
Mr Hernando also said that the provisional gaming licence is in danger of being suspended because Tiger Resort has not met the minimum requirement of 50 percent project completion by the March 2015 deadline.
In February, Tiger Resort sought for an extension of the deadline to the second quarter of 2017, citing changes in the design of the casino project – a request denied by Pagcor, the news agency reports.
“We’ve given them a 90-day period to explain why their licence should not be suspended. We are in that 90-day period since April 21,” Mr Hernando said, according to Reuters.
GGRAsia is seeking comment from Tiger Resort regarding the Reuters report.
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President and chief operating officer of Macau-based casino operator Sands China