Melco crown to build $1billion casino resort in Philippines

Casino operator Melco Crown Entertainment has entered into an agreement with a consortium of property companies called the “Philippine Parties” to build a $1 billion casino-hotel in Manila, Philippines.

Belle Corp., a Philippines-based property and leisure company along with PremiumLeisure and Amusement and Melco have agreed to build and operate Belle’s integrated resort complex at Aseana Boulevard in Parañaque City.The project will be built at a site on Manila Bay called Entertainment City.

Melco’s wholly-owned subsidiary MPEL Projects will operate the gaming and non-gaming operations as a lessee.The deal is awaiting the approval by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority. The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. has issued a provisional license to the consortium and intends to issue a regular casino gaming license upon the satisfaction of certain conditions.Under the terms of the license, the Philippine Parties will make a $650 million payment to the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. at the start of commercial operations and a total of $1 billion for the entire project.

Melco’s investment is not expected to exceed $580 million in cash and debt.Hong Kong-based Melco, which has up until now been solely focused on China’s Macau region, said the deal provides it with future expansion opportunities throughout Asia, which is widely regarded as the fastest-growing gaming region in the world.The Philippines government is aiming to rival casinos in Las Vegas in the United States and Singapore when the huge casino complex in Manila Bay is completed in 2016.