Japanese gaming tycoon Okada finds PH partner for casino in Manila Bay

Photo Credit: bloomberg.com

It’s been a long journey for Japanese gaming tycoon Kazuo Okada but he may have finally found it – their local business partner to start the commercial operations of their $2 billion casino-resort project along Manila Bay that is set to open some time in 2016.

The Tiger Resorts Leisure and Entertainment Inc. officials said they would be able to announce their local partner “in the very near future.” The Tiger Resorts is an affiliate of Japan’s Universal Entertainment Corp. They said that their timeline has not been affected and they are still on schedule in terms of opening in 2016.

“Given that we have submitted a request for extension of our provisional license for the first quarter for 2017, we are actively targeting to open the property by 2016,” the officials said.

The officials added that the first phase of their $2-billion project includes a hotel, a night club, a casino and an “iconic fountain and a variety of gastronomic restaurants to delight the Filipino palate.”

The Tiger Resorts is one of the four licensees of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (PAGCOR) to operate in Entertainment City which is set to be the country’s biggest gaming hotspot.

The Okada Group encountered the difficulty of finding a local partner. They will not be allowed to start their commercial operations without a local partner because of the Philippines’ foreign ownership rule.

Jose Antonio from Century Properties Group Inc. was supposed to be Okada’s local partner for the project but for reasons not fully clear, their partnership turned sour. The Century Group was supposed to be the company that will develop the luxury residential and commercial project of Okada on a five-hectare proeprty at the 44-hectare Manila Bay Resorts project.

Recently, the two parties had a “top-level” meeting and afterwards, they announced that they have patched things up. Century Properties decided not to pursue their case against the Okada group.

“We believe it is commendable that Century Properties worked with us in finding resolution, and we thank them for that,” the officials from Tiger Resorts said.

What will happen to the two companies’ partnership has not yet been determined or announced. As of now, they choose to remain mum about their plans.

If all else pushes through successfully, the Manila Bay Resorts is set to be the third of the four integrated resort-casinos to open in PAGCOR’s Entertainment City. The other three are Solaire Resort and Casino of Bloomberry Resorts Corp. and the City of Dreams Manila from Macau-based casino giant Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd.