The honeymoon period is over at City of Dreams Manila.
The casino resort has reportedly laid off some of its employees less than a year after it opened in December 2014.
Media outlet Manila Standard Today said City of Dreams Manila, which sits on a 6.2-hectare property at Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp’s (PAGCOR) Entertainment City, let go of close to 2 percent of its total workforce as part of cost rationalization.
Melco Crown Resorts Corp. was quoted saying it was only a temporary suspension, and the employees will return to work when the business “picks up.”
“The company has taken a step towards rightsizing, and has to temporarily suspend employment with certain employees. This proactive stance, though a tough and difficult decision affecting less than 2 percent of its total manpower, will contribute to the sustainability of business, which when it picks up, will enable these employees to resume employment,” Melco said in a statement to MST.
City of Dreams Manila is a joint venture between Macau’s Melco Crown Entertainment and Belle Corporation.
The casino operator announced in April 2014 that it plans to hire some 5,000 people in time for the $1.3 billion resort’s soft opening in December and formal opening in February this year. The casino resort features VIP and mass-market gaming facilities with capacity for 380 gaming tables, 1,700 slot machines and 1,700 electronic table games. Its non-gaming offerings include hotel, retail, food and beverage and entertainment facilities.
But the company said the gaming business is not ramping up, forcing it to reduce its workforce, which include restaurant staff and casino dealers. Melco said City of Dreams Manila generated revenue of $75 million and earnings of $12.5 million in its first full quarter of operations. VIP turnover was reported at $495.8 million, mass table drop was $116.6 million, slots handle was $465.1 million and non-gaming revenue came to $28.6 million.
City of Dreams Manila is the second integrated casino resort that opened in the Entertainment City, following Bloomberry Resort Corp’s Solaire Resort and Casino.
Two other integrated resorts are scheduled to open in Pagcor’s 120-hectare development in the next few years. Universal Entertainment subsidiary Tiger Resorts’ Manila Bay Resorts is slated to open in December 2016, while Genting Group and Alliance Global Group’s Resorts World Bayshore is expected to be completed by 2018.