MANILA, Philippines – It’s a project that sparked a bitter rivalry between friends, a boardroom battle, and counter-lawsuits. What is so special about this entertainment complex?
At the hearing of the House committee on games and amusement on Monday, February 27, Japanese billionaire Kazuo Okada’s Tiger Resorts Leisure and Entertainment Inc. (Tiger Entertainment) gave lawmakers a preview of his group’s US$2 billion-worth The Manila Bay Resorts.
Officials of Tiger Entertainment showed lawmakers this audio-visual presentation as part of an update on the construction of the project, which is expected to be finished by the 3rd quarter of 2014.
This premiere entertainment complex project by Okada’s group will rise on a 45-hectare property of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) at the Bagong Nayong Pilipino Entertainment Complex in Paranaque City.
The Pagcor regulates investors at the Entertainment City. (Read Murky past catches up with Pagcor for background on the controversy on the Entertainment City.)
Tiger Entertainment is the subsidiary of Okada’s Japan-based casino resorts developer and operator Universal Entertainment Corp.
Tiger Entertainment boasts of The Manila Bay Resorts as “the next world-class entertainment, luxury shopping and prime gaming destination in Asia” aimed at making the Philippines a top tourist and gaming destination in the region.
The complex is believed to be the root of the rivalry between Okada and former business partner Steve Wynn of Wynn Resorts. It is widely seen as a potential rival to Wynn Resort Ltd’s facility in Macau.
Wynn sued Okada on February 21 for allegedly bribing foreign regulators, including Pagcor officials, in the form of cash payments and gifts. Pagcor chairman Cristino Naguiat Jr. and his family availed themselves of free VIP accomodations for 4 nights at the most expensive suit at the Wynn Resorts Macau in September 2010 courtesy of Okada.
Despite the lawsuit, Okada said he is pursuing his investment in the Philippines.
Okada’s Manila project includes the following facilities and amenities:
- 2 luxury hotels
- 1 budget hotel
- local and international restaurants
- indoor man-made beach
- world renowned large-scale water fountain
- world-class casinos open 24/7
- outlet malls
- high-end fashion boutiques
- luxurious design
- crystal corridor connecting all establishments
The video stated that Universal Entertainment foresees Manila as “the perfect location for the next grandiose entertainment and gaming complex in Asia” with Filipinos’ hospitality, the country’s tropical climate, scenery and close proximity to China, South Korea, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong.
Okada said in a statement, “Tiger Entertainment is committed to providing entertaiment that will thrill everyone — Filipinos and the rest of Asia and the world …. The Manila Bay Resorts will redefine the Philippine entertainment and gaming landscape, delighting and charming vistors from all over the world.” – Rappler.com