The 60-day deadline for forming a final legal partnership between Macau casino operator Melco Crown Entertainment and Philippine’s Belle Corp and SM Investments Corp expired on Wednesday. Nevertheless, the two companies continue talking about their Belle Grande casino joint venture in Manila’s Entertainment City project, sources at Filipino gambling news report.
Manila’s Entertainment City project, sanctified by the Philippine gambling laws, is supposed to be the Asian-Pacific’s Las Vegas strip. The two companies agreed in July to sign a final agreement about the casino project in two months. But the usual questions about the details on financing, operation and management arose and stopped the final agreement from being signed.
Belle Corp CFO Manuel Gana informed that the parties “don’t anticipate any problems” and focus on reaching a consensus. Gana also used the words “mutual consent” and offered “no worries” for the future of the proposed casino project.
The disagreement is about each partner’s share of the business. According to Macau’s Business Daily Melco Crown’s total investment in the project is likely to be less than the maximum $580m agreed in July. Banco de Oro, a bank controlled by SM Group is supposed to finance the difference.
Business Daily reported that Hong Kong stock exchange-listed Melco International Development has plans for a $300m dual listing to finance its part of the Belle Grande casino project.
It seems the Philippines’ biggest company, San Miguel Corp will not fund the casino project. San Miguel president Ramon declined entering any gambling related business, not land casinos nor online casinos in Philippines.
“If you put up a casino, whether in Singapore or the Philippines, 75% of the clients are domestic. You’ll be killing off a lot of domestic businesses and contributing to break-ups of marriages and families” he said.
It is funny to hear such words from a company that manufactures alcoholic beverages. Take a look at the statistics worldwide and you’ll see that actually alcohol is one of the top reasons for destroying families.