MANILA, June 21 The Philippine unit of Melco
Crown Entertainment Ltd is on track to open its $1
billion gaming complex in Manila by mid-2014, targeting not just
Chinese gamblers but Southeast Asian high-rollers as well, its
president said on Friday.
Melco Crown (Philippines) Resorts Corp will build a
950-room hotel, open 240 tables and put up 1,250 slot machines
in the integrated resort to compete with Bloomberry Resorts
Corp's $1.2 billion Solaire casino complex.
"We will open everything in one go in mid-2014," Clarence
Chung, chairman and president of Melco Philippines, told
reporters after a stockholders' meeting. The project is already
fully funded, he said.
Melco Crown, run by Australian billionaire James Packer and
the son of Macau gambling tycoon Stanley Ho, has teamed up with
Philippine leisure firm Belle Corp to develop and
operate the resort in the 100 hectare Entertainment City gaming
complex in Manila.
It is Melco Crown's first casino outside Macau.
Chung said Melco will take advantage of its Macau
"connections and VIP database" in promoting its Manila
"The Chinese would definitely be one of the major targets
and, obviously, we're targeting the Southeast Asians," he said.
Industry regulator Philippine Amusement Gaming Corp (Pagcor)
expects the country's gaming industry to generate total revenue
of $2.5 billion this year with the opening in March of
By 2017, Pagcor sees annual revenue from gaming hitting $10
billion with all four casino resorts in Entertainment City up
and running, surpassing the $6 billion markets boasted by
Singapore and Las Vegas.
The biggest of the four projects is a $2 billion
casino-hotel complex planned by a unit of Japan's Universal
A joint venture between Genting Hong Kong Ltd and
Alliance Global Group has also been awarded a license
to operate in Entertainment City.
(Reporting by Erik dela Cruz; Editing by Matt Driskill)