In the Philippines, local trading and shipping firm Udenna Corporation has announced that it has received provisional government approval to build and operate a new $300 million integrated casino resort near the city of Lapu-Lapu and now plans to begin construction by the end of the summer.

Provisionally named Lapu-Lapu Leisure Mactan, the scheme is to be the first such development of its kind outside of metropolitan Manila and will sit on a 29.6-acre beachfront plot on the central island of Mactan in the province of Cebu. Set to be located on the Punta Engano Peninsula some 3.7 miles from Mactan-Cebu International Airport, Udenna Corporation explained that the venue will feature iconic modern buildings surrounded by green spaces and infinity pools along with a pier-based skydiving center, a retail complex, convention facilities, luxury hotels and villas, specialty dining options and private residences.

“Lapu-Lapu Leisure Mactan only marks the beginning of our vision for a world-class leisure, residential and commercial destination in the central Visayas,” read a statement from Dennis Uy, President for Udenna Corporation. “We see this integrated development taking a major role in bringing the Philippines on par with the region’s premier destinations for leisure, gaming and meetings as well as for commercial and residential investments.”

After receiving its provisional approval from the Philippine Amusement And Gaming Corporation regulator on Wednesday, Udenna Corporation further stated that the first phase of its Lapu-Lapu Leisure Mactan could open as early as 2019 before being fully completed by 2022.

March saw Andrea Domingo, Chief Executive Officer for the Philippine Amusement And Gaming Corporation declare that the nation was instituting a five-year moratorium on the building of any new integrated casino resorts near Manila due to over-supply concerns. But she revealed that her organization would continue to welcome applications for schemes in other parts of the island country complete with more modest capital expenditure requirements.

“We listen to our investors,” read a March statement from Domingo. “They asked us to give a five-year breathing space.”

In an effort to compete with the likes of Macau and Singapore for the lucrative tax revenues generated from wealthy casino visitors, the Philippine Amusement And Gaming Corporation authorized the 296-acre Entertainment City gaming and entertainments zone on the outskirts of Manila in 2002. The area is currently home to three giant integrated casino resorts in the City Of Dreams Manila, Solaire Resort And Casino and Okada Manila while a fourth, Resorts World Bayshore, is scheduled to open by the end of next year.

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