Philippine firm Calata Corp. is optimistic it will secure a gaming license from state regulator Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) to build the $1.4 billion Mactan Leisure City casino plan.
Calata announced last week that it had forged an alliance with U.S.-based Sino American Gaming and Macau Resources f or a 14-hectare casino resort on Mactan Island in Cebu, which will feature three hotels, a casino and entertainment complex, commercial, retail and conference facilities as well as a yacht club.
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, Calata said the three parties are planning to form a corporation by September.
“Thereafter, the parties will pursue the corporation’s transformation into a REIT (real estate and investment trust) and execute such plan at the soonest practicable time,” the listed company said.
Site works on the Mactan Leisure City is targeted to begin in January 2017, after the group has secured a construction permit and approval from the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA).
“The gaming license for the casino and entertainment complex shall be subject to compliance with PAGCOR policy,” the group said. “A license is expected to be secured by the end of 2017.
The group expects Mactan Leisure City, which is scheduled to open in 2020, to bring in a gross revenue of at least PHP55.74 billion (USD1.2 billion).
PAGCOR said early this year that it is open to issue more gambling licenses in the regional locations. Ex-PAGCOR chair CristinoNaguiat previously said there are areas outside of Manila that are “very ripe for a casino,” so the regulator is “open to giving out a casino license if it can help boost economic activity and if the people in the area want it.”
The country has already issued licenses for four casino resorts to be built in the 120-hectare development project Entertainment City in Manila, each with a minimum investment of $1 billion. Kazuo Okada’s Tiger Resorts Leisure and Entertainment is set to open the country’s biggest casino property, the $2 billion Manila Bay Resorts, in November.
Once its first phase opens, Manila Bay Resorts will join the two Entertainment City projects that have already opened to the public: Bloomberry Resorts’ Solaire Resort and Casino and Melco Crown Entertainment’s City of Dreams Manila. The fourth and final Entertainment City project, Resorts World Bayshore, a joint venture between Genting Group and Alliance Global Group, is scheduled to open sometime in 2018.