Caesars eyes Philippines, will need to invest $1.5b

Caesars Entertainment officials have met with Philippine President Benigno Aquino about a possible casino project in the country, however, Manila will require the U.S. operator to make a bigger financial commitment than existing license holders.
The government will now require a minimum investment of $1.5 billion, compared with the $1 billion the four existing license holders were asked to invest.
“If we bring in something new, it has to add value to the development of Entertainment City,” Cristino Naguiat, chairman of the gaming regulator Pagcor, told reporters. “They will be facing new terms of reference – the new investors.”
He also said that other U.S. operators had expressed an interest in the Philippines, but any new investor would have to find their own parcel of land to develop as the government has none available to offer.
The Philippines currently has two integrated resorts. Resorts World Manila is a joint venture between Genting Hong Kong and Travellers International Group, while Solaire Resort and Casino, owned by Bloomberry Resorts, opened last year.
Melco Crown Entertainment is scheduled to open its City of Dreams Manila project by the end of this year.
Caesars, which is currently renegotiating debt with bondholders, is seeking to build a network of casinos across Asia.
The company won preliminary approval in March this year to build a foreigner-only casino in Incheon, South Korea in partnership with investors including Indonesia’s Lippo Group. It is also interested in Vietnam.
“We are excited about the opportunity to expand our network and brands to Asia. Foreign visitation to South Korea has grown significantly, and we look forward to creating a world-class destination to further support Korea’s economic growth and tourism goals,” CEO Gary Loveman said at the time.