The third riches man in Australia, James Packer wants to build a 1.5 billion dollar casino resort in the Philippines. Packer’s casino will be part of a 120 hectare project using reclaimed land in Manila bay to complete a 20 billion dollar project. The hope is the resort will rival that in Macau another large Asian gaming destination. Pagcor, who regulates gaming in the Philippines announced the project in April and has received lots of attention. Four other companies have expressed interest in joining the project, although only one has been granted a license so far. Each involved company is expected to spend somewhere around 3 billion to contribute to the resort complexes of casinos, hotels, entertainment complexes and a golf course.

Packer’s own consortium Bloomsbury Investments and has already put down a 100 million deposit for a 1,700-room resort and convention complex and is the second group to be granted a gaming license. It is his hope that the project is finalized in the next few weeks. Japan’s Aruze Corp, Genting Berhad Group from Malaysia and Star Cruises, and SM Investments Corp of the Philippines are the other groups who have expressed interest so far and been found acceptable. They are expected to contribute a minimum investment of 1 billion and show a certain level of development to participate in the project. It is estimated that they will contribute 10 billion to the local economy in the next five years. It is also estimated to boost tourists by 2 billion a year and bring in close to a quarter million extra jobs in the resort as well as the ancillary jobs to supply the resort and keep it running.

In the meanwhile talks are still continuing for Packer. He not only hopes to rival Macau’s already established casino industry but also Singapore‘s soon to open resorts complexes. With so many changes to the global casino scene it will be a big point in favor to have such a large complex. Having such solid investors will help keep the project moving forward.

The Bagong Nayong Pilipino-Manila Bay Integrated City should be quite a sight once its finished. The project was heard about as long ago as 2001, but is finally entering the last leg of contracts before development can finally get started. The project is expected to take around ten years and will be completed in stages. One of the most interesting things planned is an observation tower which will be one of the tallest of its kind in the world. The city design includes a beautiful marina which will help bring in tourists on destination cruises among other things.