When Tiger Resorts Leisure and Entertainment Inc decided to open up a mega casino in the Philippines it promised the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor) that it would complete the 2 billion dollar construction project before the 31st of March 2015. Tiger Resorts Leisure and Entertainment Inc is backed by Japanese billionaire and slot machine tycoon Kazuo Okada and did not face much opposition in the Philippines.
The Philippines government is looking to encourage foreign investment into its fast-growing casino industry. So when Kazuo Okada decided to invest $2 billion into the Philippines the government gladly received him and encouraged him to quickly set up his multi-billion dollar Manila Bay Resorts as one of four premiere projects at Entertainment City. Pagcor decided to include a clause in the contract stipulating that Tiger Resorts Leisure and Entertainment Inc must complete the casino project before the end of March 2015, failing which it would have to forfeit a deposit of $2.2 million.
Tiger Resorts Leisure and Entertainment Inc has fallen far behind its delivery scheduled and recently announced that it had only completed 56% of the construction work and would most likely complete the project towards the middle of 2016. The casino which started construction back in 2012 had earlier requested for a deadline extension since the casino had made a number of significant changes to its proposed design. The casino asked Pagcor to extend its deadline to 2017 but has not received any favorable reply to date.
In a statement, Francis Hernando, vice president of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor), said “[The fee] was forfeited. Shortly after the [March 31] deadline, we deliberated internally. We’ve given them a 90-day period to explain why their license should not be suspended. We are in that 90-day period since Apr. 21.” Pagcor has decided to take a tough stance against Tiger Resorts Leisure and Entertainment Inc and wasted no time in denying its request for a deadline extension. Pagcor officials are also not happy with the constant delays and requests for time extensions.
The request for a time extension was denied by Pagcor and Tiger Resorts have received an official notice informing them that if the project is not completed 50% by the end of the 90 day period, then Pagcor could end up revoking Tiger Resorts gaming license. Tiger Resorts have so far not decided to comment on the $2.2 million fine nor provide an explanation for the long delays in construction.