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Belle fasttracks development of gaming resort

By Zinnia B. Dela Peña (The Philippine Star) Updated October 10, 2011 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines -  The consortium of upscale leisure and gaming firm Belle Corp. is fasttracking the development of Belle Grande Manila Bay, a $750-million integrated gaming resort complex, as it aims to set the gold standard for the casino industry in Asia.

Belle vice-chairman Willy N. Ocier said construction of the entertainment complex, located between Macapagal Ave. and Roxas Boulevard, is ongoing and on track for a grand opening in 2013. “We will be the gold standard of Asia,” he said.

Ocier said Belle Grande Manila Bay will be offering a total of 880 rooms under three brands of five-star and six-star quality.

He said the group is looking to build an all-suites hotel to be managed by the RAintree Group of Discovery

According to Ocier, all hotel rooms will be owned and operated by Belle and LR.

“Our hotel and restaurants and gaming operations will start dry runs, staff training and soft opening as early as 2012,” Ocier said

“We are happy and excited that various developments are being accelerated and upgraded in the gaming space. The four licensees need to cooperate

on the masterplan and efforts to achieve world-class standards in gaming and outdo Macau, Singapore, and Las Vegas, “ Ocier noted.

“ We laud Pagcort’s efforts to level the playing field for all investors and kickstart our country’s tourism infrastructure rollout,” Ocier said.

Belle Grande Manila Bay will have a total gaming area of 19,626 square meters with 350 gaming tables and 1,900 slot machines. The first floor will cater to the mass market while over 6,000 sqm of space will cater to VIPs.

Aside from Belle, other entities that were issued a license to operate a casino include Travellers International Group, a joint venture between between Genting and Alliance Global group Inc., Bloombury (major stakeholder is

Chairman of port operator ICTSI) and Universal Entertainment Corp.Tformerly Aruze Corp.

The Philippines is said to benefit from its strategic location from either North or South Asia. Unlike Macau and Singapore, The Philippines also presents a variety of other destinations aside from just its gaming attraction.

In 2010, PAGCOR revenues amounted to P21.87B, In the first half of the year,1 2011 the agency reported an 1percent rise in net income to P17.2 billion. in net income.

With an estimated market size of P51.6B by 2012, coupled with government efforts to double tourist arrivals within 4 years, the future for the Philippine gaming market looks very bright. one of the greatest potential markets in Asia.

PAGCOR, the state-owned and controlled casino regulator, derives around 70 percent of revenue from 13 casinos, 28 satellite casinos, 25 exclusive VIP clubs and 4 arcades and online betting.

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