CASINO

Melco Crown Entertainment adds fresh capital to Manila venture

TAGs: Entertainment Gaming Asia, Jasmine Solana, Lawrence Ho, Melco Crown Entertainment, Philippines, tigre de cristal

Lawrence Ho’s Melco Crown Entertainment ltd. is injecting P2.7 billion ($57.5 million) in fresh capital into its Philippine subsidiary that operates City of Dreams Manila.

Melco Crown Entertainment adds fresh capital to Manila ventureIn a Friday filing to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Melco Crown (Philippines) Resorts Corp. announced that MCE (Philippines) Investments Ltd. was subscribing to 693.5 million common shares in Melco Crown Philippines at P3.90 per share.

“MCE (Philippines) Investments Ltd., as a major shareholder of the company, shows its continuous support to the company and its subsidiaries through the subscription. In addition, the subscription allows the company to raise the capital in a most expeditious and efficient manner with the least cost,” Melco crown Philippines said in a statement.

The private placement transaction is still subject to shareholders’ approval. Once approved, proceeds from the transaction will go to Melco Crown Philippines’ additional investment in MCE Leisure (Philippines) Corp., which is directly involved in the operation of City of Dreams Manila.

For the third quarter of the year, City of Dreams Manila posted a revenue of $91.7 million, up from Q2’s $75 million. The integrated casino’s earnings also doubled to $24.4 million, while VIP turnover more than doubled to $1.2 billion. Mass table drop was flat at $117 million and gaming machine handle was up slightly at $508 million, but the casino’s non-gaming revenue dropped to $26.4 million.

City of Dreams Manila is the second integrated resort to open at the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation’s (Pagcor) Entertainment City, following Bloomberry Resort Corp’s Solaire Resort and Casino. Currently, City of Dreams Manila has about 265 gaming tables, 1553 slot machines and 50 electronic table games. It also hosts three hotels—Crown Towers, Hyatt International Corp., and Nobu Hotel—and several entertainment amenities, including a family entertainment center, a live performance lounge, and nightclubs, among other facilities.

Aside from City of Dreams Manila and Solaire, two more resorts are scheduled to open in Pagcor’s 120-hectare development in the next few years: Universal Entertainment’s Manila Bay Resorts, which is scheduled to open in the latter part of 2016, and Genting Group’s Resorts World Bayshore in 2018.

Tigre de Cristal to receive gaming tech from Lawrence Ho-backed firm

The newly-opened Russian casino Tigre de Cristal is getting additional gaming equipment from a company connected to businessman Lawrence Ho.

Casino currency maker Dolphin Products Ltd. is selling $198,648 worth of equipment to Oriental Regent Ltd, which, in turn, owns the entire equity interest in Tigre de Cristal.

Dolphin Products is an indirect subsidiary of Entertainment Gaming Asia Inc., which is another company controlled by Ho’s Melco International Development Ltd. Clear so far? Wait, there’s still more: Ho’s other company—Summit Ascent Holdings Ltd. is 60 percent owner of Oriental Regent, which holds the entire equity interest in the company that holds the gaming license for the Russian casino.

“The directors… are of the view that the terms of the supplemental agreement are no less favorable to Oriental Regent than those obtainable from independent third parties,” Summit Ascent said in a statement.

Tigre de Cristal, which held its soft launch in early October, is the first casino to open in Russia’s Primorye gaming zone near Vladivostok. But its grand opening drew the ire of many, particularly animal rights activists, after an alleged drugged 5-month-old female Siberian cub appeared on stage before the assembled guests.

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