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Belle to expand casino complex by another 10 hectares

By Jenniffer B. Austria | Posted on Apr. 23, 2013 at 12:01am |
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Belle Corp. is expanding the site of its casino project at Entertainment City by acquiring another 10 hectares from state-owned Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. and other private landowners in the area.
Belle deputy head for casino operations Armin Santos said in an interview following the annual stockholders’ meeting the company would allot a portion of its programmed casino investment for acquisition of additional land in Entertainment City.
Santos said Belle had expressed interest to acquire another 10-hectare lot from Pagcor. The government gaming agency, however, has yet to give its nod.
Santos said the company would spend roughly $700 million for phase 1 and 2 of Belle Grande Manila, which was scheduled to open sometime next year.
The company earlier committed to invest at least $1 billion for the integrated resort and casino complex based on its agreement with Pagcor.
Santos said the company might spend the remaining $300 million for land acquisition for possible expansion.
Belle Grande is located on a 6.2-hectare property with a gross floor area of 300,000 square meters. This will include 20,000 square meters of gaming space, six hotel towers with a total of 950 rooms and a number of high-end bars and restaurants.
Phase 2 will include high-end retail establishments and family entertainment center.
“We believe that Belle Grande will become a Metro Manila landmark upon its grand opening in 2014, which would further cement Belle’s status as a leader in world-class luxury,” Belle president Rogelio Cabunag said in a speech during the stockholders’ meeting.
Belle chief finance officer Manuel Gana said the company was expected to earn $35 million in annual rental income to be paid by Melco group from the casino operations. This is on top of the 50-percent share in the gaming revenues from the casino project.
The company also expects 90 percent of its revenues to come from casino venture and the remaining 10 percent from property development.

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