Macau casino operator Melco Crown Entertainment and Philippine property developer Belle Corp have signed a “memorandum of agreement” to develop a $1 billion casino resort in Manila.
Under the agreement, Melco, owned by Australian billionaire James Packer and Hong Kong businessman Lawrence Ho, and Belle, owned by the Philippines’ richest man Henry Sy, will jointly develop and manage the 100-hectare casino resort in Manila’s gaming hub at Aseana Boulevard in Parañaque City, according to Reuters.
The deal marks the first venture in the Philippines for Melco, whose operations are mainly based in the world’s largest gaming market of Macau, where it is awaiting final approval to develop a casino resort.
“The expansion into new jurisdictions where the company expects strong returns on capital will further diversify the company’s exposure in Asia,” Melco said in a statement.
The companies said this week an agreement was set to be finalised within the next two months, upon the approval of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority.
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp has already issued a provisional licence to the consortium and reportedly plans to issue a regular casino gaming licence once specific conditions have been met.
It is expected that gambling revenue in the Philippines will grow from $1.3 billion in 2011 to $3 billion in 2015 once three new casino resorts are completed.View Comments