Tiger Resort Pushes Okada Manila Casino Complex Grand Opening Back to Late March

Okada Manila, a $2.4-billion integrated resort located in the heart of the Philippine capital, Manila, announced late last week that it has decided to push back its grand opening to a later date. The luxury complex is now gearing up for a late March official opening ceremony.

Okada Manila’s Phase One had its soft opening on December 21, 2016. The property’s casino floor and several other facilities were then launched by the end of the year.

Tiger Resort Leisure & Entertainment Inc., the Philippine-incorporated company in charge of the resort’s development and operations, said in a Friday press release that it will now focus its construction efforts on the completion of the VIP casino floor, as well as of restaurants, avant-garde water fountains, and other facilities for the upcoming grand opening.

Okada Manila is planned to be a 44-hectare hotel and casino resort with numerous gambling and non-gambling entertainment opportunities for visitors. As most of its kind, the project is slated to be rolled out in phases. Phase One represents facilities that occupy half of the designated plot.

The integrated resort was the third of this type to open doors as part of Entertainment City, a larger multi-billion project on the Manila waterfront. Solaire Resort and Casino by local developer Bloomberry Resorts Corp. and City of Dreams Manila by Melco Crown were the two multi-purpose complexes to have been launched first.

The idea for Okada Manila was born back in 2008 when Japanese gaming tycoon Kazuo Okada visited the Philippines and was enamoured by the “warmth, friendliness, and hospitality of Filipino people.” Spotting the country’s huge investment potential outright, he was determined to make a go of that.

Here it is important to note that Mr. Okada is the owner of Japanese pachinko manufacturer Universal Entertainment Corp., the company that, in turn, owns Tiger Resort.

Manila Bay Resorts, as the project was originally titled, was one of four to be selected by Philippine authorities for their Entertainment City scheme, aimed at boosting the country’s tourism industry by attracting big-spending high rollers from around the Asia-Pacific region.

Mr. Okada’s resort was originally projected to open doors in March 2015. However, multiple hurdles, mainly ones involving finding a local partner for the endeavor, delayed its launch. Under Philippine laws, foreign developers can only own 40% of a site where a property is to be built. The remaining 60% share must be owned by a local partner.

Local businessman Antonio Cojuangco was eventually tapped as partner to the ambitious project to make its completion and launch possible.

Late last month, or around a month after the resort was soft-opened, parent company Universal Entertainment said in a filing to the JASDAQ Securities Exchange that sales at the property were growing with every day passing. It was also understood that Okada Manila’s earnings will be added to its parent’s as from April 1, 2017 when the group’s new quarterly reporting period is set to commence.

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