After celebrating the “Grand Launch” of its new integrated casino resort in February of this year, the $1.3 billion City of Dreams Manila, a joint venture between Macau’s Melco Crown Entertainment and the Belle Corporation, has been forced to let go of approximately two percent of its workforce.

According to Melco Crown Resorts Corporation, the layoffs are part of a necessary cost rationalization, and only a “temporary suspension,” that as soon as business “picks up,” employees will be able to return to their jobs. Melco added, “The Company has taken a step towards rightsizing, and has to temporarily suspend employment with certain employees. This proactive stance, though a tough and difficult decision affecting less than 2 percent of its total manpower, will contribute to the sustainability of business, which when it picks up, will enable these employees to resume employment.”

The casino had a soft opening in December of last year and at that time announced its plan to hire 5,000 additional employees, but since then its gaming business has fallen short of expectations, according to the company. The stagnation has caused the mandatory reduction of its workforce which includes casino dealers and restaurant staff. According to Melco, $75 million in revenue and $12.5 million in earnings was generated by the City of Dreams Manila its first quarter. The resort casinos non-gaming features including entertainment facilities, restaurants, retail, and hotel, revenue came in at approximately $28.6 million.

Touted as Manila’s version of the Las Vegas strip and the “premier leisure and entertainment destination in the Philippines,” the ultra-luxe resort casino located in Pagcor’s Entertainment City in Paranaque City, was developed by the Philippine unit of Macau-based Melco Crown, a subsidiary of Melco Crown Entertainment, an owner and developer of casino gaming and entertainment resort facilities in Asia, and Sy group’s Premium Leisure Corporation.

Now the second integrated casino resort for Entertainment City, Bloomberry Resort Corporation’s, Solaire Resort and Casino being the other, City of Dreams Manila is located on an approximately 15.03 acres at the City’s gateway. Its casino space can accommodate 380 gaming tables, 1,700 electronic table games and 1,700 slot machines. It also features Manilla’s first branded Family Entertainment Center.

Melco Crown’s layoff announcement is certainly a far cry from the excitement of its promotional trailer for the resort casino’s opening which featured Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio and was directed by Martin Scorsese.