Okada, Cojuangco seal partnership for casino resort
Iris Gonzales (The Philippine Star) - July 30, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Japanese gaming mogul Kazuo Okada and businessman Antonio Cojuangco have teamed up for the development of a $2 billion 44-hectare casino and resort complex, the biggest property within the sprawling 100-hectare Pagcor Entertainment City.

Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment Inc., an affiliate of Japan’s Universal Entertainment Corp., formally announced its partnership with Cojuangco’s All

Seasons Hotel and Resort Corp. during yesterday’s top-off ceremony of its first hotel, which is scheduled to open in 2016 or in the first quarter of 2017.

“We are pleased to announce we have Antonio Cojuangco as our local partner,” Okada said as he reiterated Tiger Resort’s commitment to complete its project in the country.

Cojuangco, who was in talks with Okada  as early as March 2014, said he was interested in the real estate and tourism component of the development and not  in the casino business.

“I didn’t approach them. They approached me but I said I’m not interested in investing in a casino but they said it’s more than just a casino, they’re developing 44 hectares.  And I’m more into tourism, he told reporters.

Cojuangco said  he was convinced of the vast tourism potential of the project.

“When I saw his plans and eventually got to talk to him and he told me what he wanted to do, I felt he was the right person. I can’t match his resources but I thought I’d like to be part of that,”  he said.

He said the Philippines could strongly compete in tourism even as it continued to lag behind Hong Kong and Singapore.

Cojuangco is taking the entire 40 percent stake in Eagle II Holdings, which Universal Entertainment sold in May this year.

He said the partnership would eventually spin off a new unit that would be listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange to raise funds to complete the development of the complex.

Tiger’s integrated resort is envisioned to be a world-class Las Vegas style development with luxurious hotels, classy restaurants, commercial facilities, hotels, residences and state of the art pool with real

“We are happy and excited that we are finally fulfilling our vision of developing a huge and integrated world-class entertainment property in the Philippines. This is just the beginning of that vision. All preparations are underway and our whole team is working hard in ensuring that everything gets finished properly and on time,” Okada said.

The hotel will have two towers connected by a sky bridge with each tower having 15 floors, 500 rooms and an amazing view of Manila Bay and of the iconic dancing water fountain and light display within the property that will rival the foundatins in Dubai.

Apart from the hotel, there will be a 30,000 square meter casino with 500 table games and 3,000 slot machines.

Tiger Resort was granted a license in August 2008 to establish and operate a casino at the Entertainment City.

Company officials said the state run gaming regulator has approved the extension of the work timetable to finish the project to 2016, a year later than planned.

Solaire Resort and Casino of Bloomberry Resorts Corp. was the first to open in Entertainment City which is seen as the country’s answer to Macau and Las Vegas.   It was followed by the City of Dreams Manila of Macau-based casino giant Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd.

Another integrated resort that is expected to rise on Entertainment City is Resorts World Bayshore of Alliance Global Group Inc. and Malaysia’s Genting Hong Kong Ltd.

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