PH Resorts Group Holdings Inc, a Philippine-listed firm controlled by local entrepreneur Dennis Uy, said in a press release published on Thursday it planned an accelerated, soft launch including most of its gaming inventory, by the end of 2021 of part of the first phase of its Emerald Bay casino resort at Mactan, Cebu.
The same announcement said the group was still raising money for phase one of the under-construction Emerald Bay.
“The first phase of Emerald Bay is scheduled to open by the second quarter of 2022, but the management team is planning for an early opening by the end of 2021, which will initially feature 122 gaming tables for mass, premium mass and junkets; 600 electronic gaming machines, and 270 hotel room bays,” said the firm.
“It will then increase its gaming capacity and hotel rooms by 2022,” added the press release.
The document said Emerald Bay would eventually have 146 gaming tables and 729 electronic gaming machines, as well as 780 hotel room bays and five villas.
In a June filing, the group had mentioned aiming to finish phase one of Emerald Bay in the first quarter, 2022.
In its latest statement on the matter, it cited Jose Angel Sueiro, the group’s chief operating officer, as saying: “Despite the challenges of Covid-19 we are diligently working on the completion of the first phase of Emerald Bay.”
“Our team continues working to ensure to reduce project costs without sacrificing quality. Our focus is getting Emerald Bay to open on time without cutting corners,” added Mr Sueiro.
Separately, in a filing to the Philippine Stock Exchange on Thursday, the group reaffirmed it was committed to almost doubling its capital stock, from PHP8 billion (about US$162 million) at PHP1.00 per share, to PHP15 billion at PHP1.00 per share.
“The details of the increase in authorised capital stock as regards the subscriber of the shares are not yet finalised,” noted that filing.
The press release said the company’s “belief in the long-term prospects of the tourism and gaming sector” had been vindicated in its “recent regulatory filing for an up PHP1.125-billion follow-on offer of common shares”.
The net proceeds would be used “partially [to] fund the completion of the first phase of Emerald Bay,” the announcement noted.
Mr Uy was cited in the press release as saying, regarding the return of the country’s casino-sector business after Covid-19: “While many challenges remain, we are confident of overcoming them as we see some recovery by the time the first phase of Emerald Bay is completed and opened to the public.”
On July 16, an anti-Covid 19 lockdown in Cebu City was eased from a so-called enhanced quarantine – the highest level of quarantine in the country – to a modified enhanced community quarantine, until at least July 31, according to a national government spokesman.
But a general community quarantine in the Metro Manila area of the Philippine capital has been extended to July 31, which means for now the large-scale casino resorts in the capital’s Entertainment City zone are not able to offer gaming.
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