After taking on the role as president of the Philippines in 2016, Rodrigo Duterte quickly began to make changes to the gambling industry of the country. The president began by taking on online gambling, vowing to shut down all activities in the country. His heavy hand has reportedly now caused potential investors to back away from funding the Mactan Leisure City casino, a venue that would have been located in Cebu City.
The group of potential investors were to provide funds for the new gaming facility in Cebu City, a project that was being led by Calata Corp., a company based in the Philippines. On Wednesday of last week, a letter was sent to the stock exchange by RiskWise Global Capital Group LLC, a management consultant company, stating that discussions between their client Calata, Sino-America Gaming Investment Group LLC, and the Macau Resources Group Limited, as well as a group of foreign investors had fallen apart.
RiskWise stated that the funders had backed out of the Mactan Leisure City project as they were leery about political risks along with other issues. In the letter, RiskWise stated:
“As with many foreign companies who had been working feverishly to undertake projects in the Philippines during 2016, we have experienced investor backlash as a result of political and social issues. These underlying issues were beyond the control or influence of Calata, Sino and MRG. We would like to report, however, that we are now working diligently to create a commitment with another group that wishes to participate in this $1.4 billion project.”
In August of last year Calata began working with Sino and MRG to create a casino resort in Cebu on Mactan Island. The project was to include a casino, three hotels and an entertainment complex, along with facilities for commercial businesses, retail and conference needs.
With the new partnership, the three casinos were planning on creating a corporation titled Calata Land, Inc. The company would have counted the Mactan casino as one of its properties. Once a casino operating partner had been determined, the three companies would have registered and incorporated their equity interests in Mactan Leisure City Management Corp.
RiskWise further stated that due to external factors, the timelines were not met. The project is believed to be about nine months behind schedule. RiskWise continues to work with Calata as their intentions with the company are not limited to one project site.