Philippine property firm Megaworld Corp and casino operator Travellers International Hotel Group Inc are spending an aggregate of PHP65 billion (US$1.4 billion) to develop a 31-hectare (76.6-acre) “leisure and entertainment township” at Entertainment City in Manila Bay (pictured).
The companies will be allocating a total of about US$300 million to build the residential portion of the project, Megaworld said on Monday. It will be next door to a new casino project called Resorts World Bayshore, to which Travellers International is already committed.
Travellers International, a venture between Philippine-based Alliance Global Group Inc and Genting Hong Kong Ltd, also developed and operates the Resorts World Manila casino and hotel complex next to Manila International Airport. Alliance Global is also the parent company of Megaworld.
Resorts World Bayshore, described as having a price tag of US$1.1-billion, is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2018, Travellers International said in August. The firm broke ground on the casino site in October last year. In a filing on Tuesday, Travellers International said it would spend PHP12.6 billion in the residential portion of the project.
On Monday, Megaworld said the township development – dubbed Westside City – is “scheduled for completion by the last quarter of 2020”.
Westside City would include luxury apartments, an upmarket shopping mall and a “Grand Opera House” with a 3,000-seat capacity, Megaworld said in a filing to the Philippine Stock Exchange.
The project will also offer 1,500 branded hotel rooms. There will be a Westin Hotel from Starwood Asia Pacific Hotels and Resorts Group; a Hotel Okura Manila from Okura Hotels and Resorts; a Genting Grand and a Crockfords Tower from the Genting Group, and a Kingsford Hotel.
“We are very excited to see Westside City rising to be a showcase of Manila as a truly world-class Philippine capital,” Andrew Tan, chairman and chief executive of both Alliance Global and Megaworld, said in a statement.
The Philippines is expanding its casino gambling market capacity with help from private sector investors in order to meet rising regional demand. There are four integrated resorts planned for Entertainment City, an area earmarked by Philippine authorities to become a casino district, and meant to emulate the success of Macau’s Cotai district.
Each Entertainment City resort has a minimum price tag of US$1 billion. The first property there, Solaire Resort and Casino, opened in 2013 and is owned and operated by Bloomberry Resorts Corp. City of Dreams Manila, operated by a unit of Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd, had an official launch in February.
The next property scheduled for opening is Manila Bay Resorts, developed by Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment Inc, a company controlled by Japanese gaming entrepreneur Kazuo Okada. The firm has recently been given a construction timetable extension and the property is now scheduled to launch in December 2016.
Philippine casino gross gaming revenue is likely to grow by 8 percent year-on-year in 2016, not the market consensus figure of 21 percent, said a report in October from Morgan Stanley Research.
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”We expect Goa to quickly become a US$1 billion market as it transitions to land-based casinos (from US$150 million today), which is still just a fraction of India’s total GGR potential of US$10 billion to US$17 billion”
Analyst at Union Gaming Securities Asia