The Philippines is becoming one of the hottest destinations in Asia for gamblers as foreign enterprises continue to invest heavily into setting up mega-casino resorts in the country. The government of the Philippines is also looking to encourage foreign establishments to invest into the gambling industry and have very lenient laws that allow these foreign operators to bypass a lot of red tape.

However, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) has made it mandatory for foreign enterprises to partner with local firms in order to set up and run casino operations in the country. The affiliate for Japan’s Universal Entertainment Corp, Tiger Resorts Leisure and Entertainment Inc is in the process of constructing a mega-casino in Manila Bay that is estimated to be around $2 billion. The Japanese firm which is owned by billionaire Kazuo Okada expects operations to go live in 2016 or 2017 and have been searching to find a suitable local enterprise to partner with.

Tiger Resorts recently announced that they had identified a local enterprise and are currently working out a partnership with them. The company did not want to reveal the name of the enterprise this early but promised to do so in the near future. Tiger Resorts had earlier partnered with Century Properties who were to be responsible for constructing this mega casino project on a 44 hectare plot in Manila Bay Resorts.

Century Properties was supposed to be in charge of developing a luxury residential and commercial project on a five-hectare property at the 44-hectare Manila Bay Resorts project. The partnership did not work out in the end and Century Properties decided to file a case against Tiger Resorts for being dropped. The case recently ended when the parties worked out their difference and Century Properties withdrew their case.

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

Industry analysts are speculating that Tiger Resorts might have decided to re-hire Century Properties as its partner in order for the case to be dropped. Neither Century Properties nor Tiger Resorts were willing to deny or confirm on such speculation.