Japanese billionaire to expand Okada Manila in 2017
MANILA, Philippines – Japanese billionaire Kazuo Okada plans to start expanding its $2.7-billion, 25-hectare integrated entertainment and gaming center at the government sponsored Entertainment City within 2017.
"We would be preparing for our Phase II starting this year, within the year. About 300,000 square meters will be developed for our Phase II," Okada said on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Prosperity For All Summit 2017.
Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment Incorporated, owner and operator of Okada Manila, opened the Phase I of the facility in March 2017, which includes 1,000 luxurious hotels room, 500 gaming tables and 3,000 slot machines, 80,000 square meters of retail space, a beach club and night club, an iconic dome, and adancing water fountain.
Phase I covers 25 hectares out of the 44 hectares owned by Tiger Resort. (WATCH: LIVE: ASEAN Prosperity For All Summit)
Tiger Resort was supposed to open Okada Manila's Phase I in March 2015. But it had encountered delays finding a local partner necessary to meet the cap on foreign land ownership.
"Philippines is now moving towards time of change, meaning more developments coming along," Okada said, expressing optimism on the country's economy.
According to Okada, Tiger Resort is still considering listing through backdoor, same routh taken by Bloomberry Resorts Corporation and Melco Crown (Philippines) Resorts Corporation.
"We are still in the process of thinking about it so nothing has been finalized yet. It is just being considered as of this moment," Okada said.
Okada Manila is among 4 integrated casino resorts the government wants built in the 120-hectare Entertainment City complex along Manila Bay, to compete with Asian neighbors Singapore and Macau for gaming revenues.
Each holder of the 4 licenses were required to spend at least $1 billion to build luxury hotels, shops, entertainment areas, and gambling floors.
Antonio Cojuangco is the Filipino partner of Okada in Tiger Resort's Okada Manila. – Rappler.com