MANILA May 4 The Philippines' Udenna Corp said
on Thursday it will build a $300 million integrated
casino-resort in central Philippines, the first such outside
The Southeast Asian nation's gaming regulator is inviting
investors to build casino-resorts outside the capital to
accelerate growth in the gambling and tourism sectors despite a
crackdown by China, a big source of high rollers, on wealthy
Unlisted Udenna, a holding firm owned by one of the top
campaign contributors of President Rodrigo Duterte, plans to
start construction of the Lapu-Lapu Leisure Mactan in Cebu city
in three months, the company said in a statement.
"We see this integrated development taking a major role in
bringing the Philippines on par with the region's premier
destinations for leisure, gaming and meetings as well as for
commercial and residential investments," said Udenna President
Andrea Domingo, chairman of the Philippine Amusement and
Gaming Corp (Pagcor), had said in March the regulator had
approved a $500 million project for an integrated casino-resort
in Cebu. Domingo did not name the project builder then.
Pagcor was not immediately available for comment on
Udenna's integrated casino-resort will be built on a
12-hectare (29.6-acre) beachfront property six kilometers (3.7
miles) from an international airport.
The casino, retail complex and hotels are scheduled to open
as early as 2019. Udenna bagged on Wednesday a provisional
license from Pagcor.
The Philippines, which has one of Asia's most freewheeling
gaming industries, targets gross gaming revenue of 155 billion
Philippine pesos to 160 billion pesos ($3.1 billion to $3.2
billion) this year, up 4 percent to 7 percent from last year,
government data showed.
Growth will be driven by warmer ties with China and
increasing foreign visitors.
(Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales; Editing by Muralikumar