Universal Entertainment said it would be ready to open its $2 billion casino-resort along Manila Bay by 2015, but the project might be delayed.
Last month, Universal’s affiliate Tiger Resorts Leisure and Entertainment announced that the first phase of its casino project may not be ready before 2016.
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (PAGCOR) was not happy with the news, and chairman Cristino Naguiat said Tiger would lose P100 million ($2.24 million) if the deadline isn’t met. The amount represents a guarantee that all licensed casino operators maintain with the regulating body, gambling news said.
“Based on the project implementation plan, they are supposed to finish it by March next year,” Naguiat told reporters, adding that PAGCOR is considering taking other measures against the company.
Tiger fails to meet all requirements
Under Philippine gambling laws, the regulating body issued four casino licenses for Entertainment City, and Tiger was awarded one of them. The company hasn’t yet explained why it won’t be able to meet the deadline. But the Philippine constitution doesn’t allow foreign entities to own more than 40% of land and the regulator said that Tiger has so far failed to secure a local partner.
Three other groups are licensed to operate casinos in Entertainment City. Bloomberry Resorts has successfully launched the first phase of its $1.2 billion resort in 2013, and Melco Crown Entertainment and its local partner Belle Corp are expected to open its $1 billion City of Dreams Manila later this year. Travellers International will open a resort by 2018.