Rising Philippine casino operator Udenna Development Corp. hopes to break ground on the country’s first-ever integrated resort outside Manila in the coming weeks.
Business World reported that Udenna is set to complete the funding requirements of Lapu-Lapu Leisure Mactan, making it possible for the Dennis Uy-led project to break ground before the end of July or August.
Uy announced that local financial institution China Bank has agreed to give a debt component to the project. He said that the bank is “very supportive” that an agreement between the two parties will be inked soon.
While he’s open to forge a partnership with foreign groups, Uy contends that Filipinos can do it on their own.
“A lot of the good managers and operators are Filipinos. They are in Macau and (Las) Vegas,” he said.
In May, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) announced that it had awarded a provisional casino license to the Filiipino holding firm.
Controversy, however, hounded the issuance of a provisional license as many critics pointed out that Uy was one of the top campaign contributors of President Rodrigo Duterte during the 2016 presidential election campaign.
Udenna reportedly plan to develop a 12-hectare, beachfront casino resort that will feature iconic modern buildings surrounded by lush greens and infinity pools. It will have a skydiving center on a pier, a retail complex, a convention center, luxury hotels and villas, specialty dining options, private residences and condominium-hotels.
The group expects to open the integrated casino’s first phase as early as 2019, with the full resort to be finished by 2022.
Downplaying earlier warnings from analysts that there may be an oversupply of integrated casinos in the country, Uy expressed confidence that their project will become profitable on year one of its full operations.
Uy pointed out that the project will be the only integrated resort to operate on the holiday island of Cebu. The resort is also in an advantageous position since it is near the newly modernized Mactan Cebu International Airport.