Philippine Company to Invest $1 Billion into Two Casino Resorts
A company owned by businessman Dennis Uy plans to spend close to $1 billion on two casino resorts and hotel expansion
PH Resorts Group Holdings Inc. revealed plans to invest around $1 billion in the development of two casino resorts in the Philippines, local news outlet the Manila Standard reported earlier today.
The company, which previously operated as Philippine H20 Ventures Inc., is a subsidiary of Udenna Group, the holding company of Chinese-Filipino businessman Dennis Uy.
PH Resorts said in a recently filed registration statement related to its upcoming PHP18.48-billion share sale that it has decided to spend the amount of $665 million to complete The Emerald, an integrated casino resort currently under development in Punta Engaño on the Mactan Island in Cebu.
Developers broke ground on the luxury resort late in 2017. The property is expected to be launched in the third quarter of 2020. The resort will occupy a 13.5-hectare site and will be opened in phases. Phase one will include a 7,585-square-meter casino floor with 1,186 slot machines and 146 gaming tables, an 838-room five-star hotel with five villas, 8,000-square-meter retail center, food and beverage facilities, and a convention center.
Phase two will include 9,400 square meters of gaming space, a 1,300-room five-star hotel, food and beverage facilities, and retail space.
PH Resorts is planning to spend another $276.6 million to develop an integrated casino resort in the Clark Freeport Zone. Clark Resort will feature 600 gaming machines, 100 table games, several hotels, a dining complex, and retail space. Construction is expected to commence in the first quarter of 2019. Developers target 2022 opening of the property.
The company will also invest $40.9 million to expand its Donatela Hotel in Panglao, Bohol. The property currently features 21 villas, and PH Resorts will add more than 60 hotel rooms to the existing offering of the upscale resort.
Planned Share Sale
PH Resorts will partially fund its development projects with the sale of 1.78 billion common shares to raise nearly PHP18.5 billion. The sale was approved by the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission last month and now needs to receive the green light from the Philippine Stock Exchange.
The company has said that the sale will likely take place in March or April. A board meeting is scheduled to be held by the Philippine Stock Exchange on February 13 and the application for PH Resorts’ share sale could be discussed during it.
Udenna Group acquired PH Resorts, formerly Philippine H2O Ventures Corp., in the spring of 2018 and placed its tourism business under the newly acquired company. Mr. Uy has said previously that PH Resort will allow his holding company to take better advantage of the countless opportunities of the tourism sector, “create stronger synergies among [their] existing businesses”, and “make more meaningful contributions to the Philippine economy.”
News about the businessman’s plans to invest $1 billion into the development of two casino resorts and expanding the existing Donatela Hotel arrive as the Philippine braces for more intense casino competition in the Asia-Pacific region and amid President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on gambling.
Japan has legalized casino gambling not long ago and is planning to authorize the construction of three integrated resorts with gaming floors. The move is expected to drastically change the gambling landscape in the region and to bring heavier competition.
President Duterte showed clearly that he opposed gambling early into his office as the Philippines’ top official and has maintained his stance since then. Most notably, he has promised to make sure that no new casinos are set up during his presidency.
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