In the Philippines, the man behind the plan to build a $300 million integrated casino resort on the central island of Mactan has reportedly revealed that he is close to securing all of the project’s funding requirements and expects to break ground in the coming weeks.
According to a report from Asian Gaming Brief, Dennis Uy, president for local trading and shipping firm Udenna Corporation, made the revelation only seven weeks after raising approximately $80.36 million to help fund the development by selling 25% of his company’s stake in oil and natural gas distributor Phoenix Petroleum Philippines Incorporated.
Davao City-based Udenna Corporation received provisional approval for the new integrated casino resort, which has been christened Lapu-Lapu Leisure Mactan, from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation regulator in early-May and later explained that it hopes to open the first phase of the complex in 2019 complete with a pier-based skydiving center and a retail complex.
Lapu-Lapu Leisure Mactan is reportedly the first scheme of its kind ever to be envisioned outside of metropolitan Manila and is to sit on a 29.6-acre beachfront plot in the province of Cebu. To be located on the Punta Engano Peninsula some 3.7 miles from Mactan-Cebu International Airport, Udenna Corporation explained that the venue would additionally feature iconic modern buildings surrounded by green spaces and infinity pools along with convention facilities, luxury hotels and villas, specialty dining options and private residences.
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. This 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.
However, over-supply concerns saw Andrea Domingo, Chief Executive Officer for the Philippine Amusement And Gaming Corporation, declare in March that the nation was instituting a five-year moratorium on the building of any new integrated casino resorts near Manila although she subsequently explained that her organization would continue to welcome applications for schemes in other parts of the island nation complete with more modest capital expenditure requirements.