Integrated resorts in the Entertainment City are proving themselves to be the country’s biggest players, particularly in terms of local taxes.
The 120-hectare Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation’s (Pagcor) development project is located in the city of Paranaque, and the local government said operators of the recently-opened City of Dreams Manila and the Solaire Resorts and Casino led the city’s list of top taxpayers in 2015, the Philippine Star reported.
According to the news outlet, Belle Corp. topped the city’s list after remitting a total of PHP 135.9 million (US$2.86 million) in real property tax last year.
Belle Corp.’s principal assets include properties at the Pagcor Entertainment City, which are being leased on a long-term basis to Melco Crown Entertainment. The 6.2 hectares of land is the site of the City of Dreams Manila, which opened to public on February 2, 2015.
Melco Crown’s first year of operations had a rough start, which led to temporary layoffs among its staff. Business, however, picked up during the second half of the year after the casino started its VIP operations.
For the third quarter of the 2015, City of Dreams Manila posted a revenue of $91.7 million, up from Q2’s $75 million. The casino’s earning also doubled to $24.4 million, while VIP turnover more than doubled to $1.2 billion. Mass table drop was flat at $117 million, but gaming machine handle was up slightly at $508 million. Belle Corp. has yet to come with its report for the final quarter of 2015.
Aside from Belle Corp., another casino operator also made it to the city’s top taxpayers list.
Bloomberry Resorts Corp, which operates Solaire Resorts and Casino, remitted a total of PHP 55 million (US$ 1.2 million) in real property tax last year.
In an interview with the Philippine Star, Paranaque Mayor Edwin Olivarez said the city’s annual income spiked to PHP 5 billion (US$ 105.1 million) in 2015 from the previous administration’s PHP 2 billion (US$ 42 million), thanks to the entry of resorts and casino operators.
Olivarez said with the money they generate from the development projects, “we can efficiently deliver the basic services, like school and hospital buildings and generate thousands of jobs to city residents.”
City of Dreams Manila is the second integrated casino resort that opened in the Entertainment City, following Solaire Resort and Casino. Two more casino resorts are scheduled to open in the next few years: Tiger Resorts’ Manila Bay Resorts and Genting Group’s Resorts World Bayshore.