Lawrence Ho’s long awaited casino in Russia’s Primorye gambling zone will open its doors this summer. Seriously. They mean it this time.
On Wednesday, John Wang, CEO of the First Gambling Company of the East – a consortium involving Ho’s Melco International Development, Taiwan-based gaming device maker Firich Enterprises, Hong Kong’s Perfect Giant Investments and local partner Elegant City Group – told Primorye officials that the project’s first phase will open in July.
The $700m project has been delayed several times already but Wang says the initial phase – including a 140-room hotel and a gaming facility – would open this summer. The project is the first of several planned properties, including one by Cambodian casino operator NagaCorp, for the gambling zone located 50km from Vladivostok on Russia’s eastern shores.
MELCO INTERNATIONAL RESULTS
Meanwhile, Melco International Development, which shares ownership of the Melco Crown Entertainment casino joint venture with Australia’s Crown Resorts, saw profit fall 6.9% in 2014. The downturn in Macau’s casino market helped reduce Melco International’s 2014 take-home pay to HKD 1.5b (US $192m).
Ho (pictured) said Melco had managed to weather the “challenging market conditions” in Macau and that would serve it well in the current year. Ho has great expectations for Melco Crown’s Studio City project, which is set to open in Macau in Q3, as well as the City of Dreams Manila property that officially opened in the Philippines in February.
Melco International is also pushing forward with its own gaming plans, including the Primorye facility and possible casino projects in Barcelona, Spain and the Republic of Georgia via Melco’s Melcolot subsidiary.