Okada Manila, the latest gaming and entertainment resort in the Philippines, opens to the public today (December 21) in what the company terms a “preview period”. An official grand opening for the property (pictured in a rendering) will take place in the first quarter of 2017.
The US$2.4-billion Okada Manila is being developed by Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment Inc, a subsidiary of Universal Entertainment Inc. The latter is headed by Japanese gaming and pachinko entrepreneur Kazuo Okada.
The first phase of the project covers 22 hectares (54.4 acres) of the overall 44-hectare plot in which the casino resort stands.
The opening celebrations for Okada Manila will include fireworks, a light show and performances by some of the Philippines’ top local artists, including Regine Velasquez-Alcasid, Lani Misalucha and Bamboo.
“This Christmas preview concert marks the start of Okada Manila’s preview period which will last until the grand launch scheduled during the first quarter of 2017,” said Okada Manila chief operating officer Takahiro Usui in comments to GGRAsia.
“Guests can expect more amenities and features to become available to the public in the coming months as we prepare for the spectacular grand opening,” he added.
Okada Manila has a two-wing hotel with 993 rooms. It also includes restaurants, shops and a casino with up to 500 gaming tables and 3,000 electronic gaming machines, according to the project’s promoter.
The hotel and the restaurants within the complex are not yet open for guests, but a portion of the casino will be accessible during the preview period, Okada Manila said. “Okada Manila will soon launch our booking engine,” it added.
Under an earlier plan for Okada Manila – originally under the working title Manila Bay Resorts – the casino property should have been completed by March 31, 2015. But the Philippine casino regulator approved in June 2015 a new timetable that pushed back the completion of the venue to December 31, 2016.
Okada Manila will be the third casino resort to start operations at Entertainment City, a development zone for private-sector casinos in the Philippines capital Manila. Entertainment City is an area earmarked by Philippine authorities to become a casino district, and meant to emulate the success of Macau’s Cotai district.
The two operational casinos in Entertainment City are Solaire Resort and Casino, from Bloomberry Resorts Corp, which opened in March 2013; and City of Dreams Manila, operated by a unit of Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd, which opened officially in February 2015, following a December 2014 soft opening.
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”We would like to thank Pagcor for their vote of confidence in granting Galaxy Entertainment a provisional gaming licence in the Philippines and the opportunity to strategically expand our brand into overseas markets”
Deputy chairman of Galaxy Entertainment Group