Asian hotel and leisure operator International Entertainment Corporation has reportedly postponed a plan that was to have seen it bring a five-star casino resort to the Philippines capital of Manila by the end of 2024.

According to a Friday report from Asia Gaming Brief, the Hong Kong-listed firm last year received permission from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCor) regulator to construct an 800-room property complete with a large casino offering as many as 1,600 slots in addition to 100 junket-friendly gaming tables. The source detailed that the company had hoped that the unnamed facility would open on or near to the site of its existing New Coast Hotel Manila and be run via a 15-year partnership with the state-run watchdog.

Advantageous arrangement:

International Entertainment Corporation reportedly holds the Asian rights for a number of live poker events including some operated under the PokerStars brand from Flutter Entertainment. The firm purportedly revealed that the Philippines alliance involving its Marina Square Properties Incorporated subsidiary had also included a provision that was to have seen PAGCor pocket 40% of the envisioned property’s net gaming revenues as well as a monthly rent of about $1,980.

Pandemic pause:

However, International Entertainment Corporation has now reportedly pronounced that it has delayed the plan to transform its New Coast Hotel Manila property into a Las Vegas-style casino resort owing to the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent appearance of the even more lethal ‘delta variant’. The enterprise moreover purportedly declared that it had been due to sign the licensing agreement for the planned casino resort ‘no later than the end of February of 2022’ but recently opted to indefinitely suspend this plan after the city of Manila and its surrounding provinces were placed under ‘enhanced community quarantine’ measures for the third time in less than two years.

Existing enterprise:

Asia Gaming Brief reported that the 370-room New Coast Hotel Manila, which was formerly known as the New World Manila Bay Hotel until undergoing a change of name last year, already offers some gaming under a deal with PAGCor. The source explained that the small casino inside the 32-floor property features 174 slots alongside 24 mass-market gaming tables.

Confident conviction:

Regarding the future of the now-paused plan to bring a casino resort to the center of Manila and International Entertainment Corporation reportedly proclaimed that its Marina Square Properties Incorporated subordinate ‘has not yet identified suitable land to expand the hotel premises’ and that this process is expected to ‘take a certain extent of time’. But the Hong Kong-headquartered company purportedly optimistically asserted that its operational arrangement with PAGCor remains intact and that it still hopes to open an envisioned gambling-friendly development within two years of restarting the process.