Filipino casino operator PH Resorts Group Holdings Incorporated has reportedly received official regulatory approval to indefinitely suspend the provisional license for the gambling-friendly venue it was planning to build in the Clark Freeport Zone.

According to a report from Inside Asian Gaming, the consent from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCor) comes as the Manila-listed firm is continuing work on its Emerald Bay Resort and Casino property in hopes of opening the $600 million facility’s first phase before the end of next year. The source detailed that this new 270-room enterprise is taking shape on a 13.5-acre plot of beachfront land on the central Philippines island of Mactan and is due to feature a casino offering a selection of 600 slots and 122 gaming tables authorized under a seven-year exclusivity deal.

Ambitious aim:

PH Resorts Group Holdings Incorporated is the gaming and hospitality arm of local trading and shipping firm Udenna Corporation and had reportedly been looking towards opening a new integrated casino resort to be christened as The Base next year within the Clark Freeport Zone. This envisioned 400-room development for the former United States Air Force base was to have purportedly occupied almost eleven acres within its parent’s 437-acre Clark Global City endeavor and embrace multiple retail and dining elements as well as a large casino with some 100 gaming tables and approximately 600 slots.

Converted concentration:

However, the operator reportedly declared that PAGCor has now given it permission to shelve this plan in preference to the under-construction Emerald Bay Resort and Casino ‘due to some lingering uncertainties surrounding the casino gaming industry, especially with more competition in the Clark, Pampanga location.

Reportedly read a statement from PH Resorts Group Holdings Incorporated…

“As present, financial projections center on our plans for the Emerald Bay Resort and Casino project and the voluntary suspension of our [Clark Freeport Zone] license will have no effect on current financial numbers. Thus, PH Resorts Group Holdings Limited expects that the suspension will have little to no impact on our business.”

Pandemic pause:

In its report on the matter and GGRAsia explained PH Resorts Group Holdings Incorporated is just one of the many casino operators in the Philippines that have seen their bottom lines ravaged by the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. The company purportedly asserted that The Base suspension ‘shall be effective until further notice’ although it may subsequently be lifted at any time ‘subject to the approval of the PAGCor board of directors.

The statement from PH Resorts Group Holdings Incorporated reportedly read…

“The voluntary suspension also allows PH Resorts Group Holdings Incorporated to ramp up and focus all efforts for the construction and development of its flagship integrated resort and casino project, the Emerald Bay Resort and Casino, located in Mactan.”