Hong Kong-listed leisure enterprise International Entertainment Corp will reportedly invest between US$1.0 billion and US$1.2 billion into the development and establishment of a hotel and casino resort in Manilla in the Philippines. As reported, the commitment to invest the aforementioned amount falls within the scope of the company’s provisional license agreement with the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor).
Provisional License Approved for Two Properties:
The agreement between International and Pagcor reportedly produced a provisional license for two Philippine facilities of the Hong Kong-listed enterprise on September 27, 2023. According to GGRAsia, Philippine gaming regulator Pagcor granted a provisional license to Marina Square Properties Inc and New Coast Leisure Inc “to establish and operate a casino and the development of an integrated resort in the city of Manila.”
New Coast Hotel Manila Expansion Project:
The statement reportedly continued: “Pagcor shall issue the regular casino gaming license upon completion of the project and upon approval … of the licensee’s compliance with the implementation plan in relation to the actual total project costs.” The statement reportedly refers to the the upgrade and expansion of the existing New Coast Hotel Manila run by Marina Square Properties.
As reported by the source, International Entertainment is to upgrade and develop the resort in addition to its current casino floor supplies. The company reportedly said that the integrated resort “shall have a total gross floor area of at least 250,000 square meters [2.69 million sq. feet]” once the development is completed. New Coast Hotel Manila is a five-star property reportedly including 800 hotel rooms, leisure and shopping facilities, as well as restaurants and a casino.
No Changes To Investment Amount:
The operator reportedly said that it will make sure to remain committed to the investment amount even if some elements of the project change. The gaming floor is integrated into the resort and operates slot machines and other gaming units supplied by International Entertainment under the company’s lease agreement with Pagcor.
New Coast Hotel Manilla Management:
At the same time, Marina Square Properties operates the existing casino at New Coast Hotel Manila in cooperation with Pagcor. Such an arrangement has enabled Marina Square Properties to take part in the management of the casino as Pagcor continues its operator presence until 2025 when it will adopt an exclusively regulatory role in the Philippine market.
License Agreement Provisions:
As reported by GGRAsia, International Entertainment will use the latest approval of the provisional license to “commence the casino transition to take over the operation of the existing casino.” The company will reportedly follow this agreement with Pagcor to hire at least 50 percent of all Pagcor employees currently directly involved in the New Coast Hotel Manila gaming operations. Under the agreement, International Entertainment is reportedly also liable to hire at least 95 percent of the total number of employees for the project locally.
License Facilitates Independent Operations:
But the provisional license agreement will also enable the Hong Kong-listed company “to operate and manage casino business and gambling activities independently,” according to the source. International Entertainment reportedly stated: “The provisional license will provide an opportunity for the group to participate in the gaming and entertainment [industries], in addition to its hospitality operations, potentially boosting ‘future earnings.”
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