City of Dreams Manila operator to suspend 100 workers

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City of Dreams Manila operator to suspend 100 workers

Stephen Lavoie

The workers account for 2% of the integrated resort's workforce, and are mainly in gaming-related units

MANILA, Philippines – Casino operator Melco Crown (Philippines) Resorts Corporation said it would be suspending 100 workers, as its net losses widened in the first half of 2015.

The gaming firm cited higher costs and a dearth of wealthy Chinese gamblers in its decision to suspend 100 workers, which accounted for about 2% of the integrated resort’s workforce, Reuters reported August 11.

“Employment of the affected employees will resume when business improves,” Charisse Chuidian, vice president for public relations of Melco Crown Philippines said in the Reuters report.

Melco Crown Philippines operates the over $1-billion City of Dreams Manila casino, hotel, retail, and entertainment integrated resort, which had a soft opening in December 2014, and opened in grand fashion in February this year.

In a filing with the local bourse August 7, Melco Crown Philippines reported that consolidated comprehensive loss for the 3 months ending June 30, 2015 was P1.82 billion ($39.31 million), an increase of P390 million ($8.42 million), or 27%, from P1.43 billion ($30.89 milllion) for the 3 months ended June 30, 2014.

The consolidated comprehensive loss was primarily related to gaming tax and license fees, inventories consumed, employee benefit expenses, depreciation and amortization, other expenses, payments to the Philippine parties, as well as the interest expenses (net of capitalized interest), other finance fees, and amortization of deferred financing costs as a result of continuous development of City of Dreams Manila, partially offset by operating revenues generated during the current quarter.

With no prior year comparison, City of Dreams Manila’s casino revenues for the second quarter were approximately P2.90 billion ($62.64 million).

In a press release dated August 6, Lawrence Ho, co-chairman and CEO of Melco Crown Entertainment said City of Dreams Manila continues to grow revenues across all business segments, with the rolling chip segment gaining meaningful traction last month.

“The property’s world-class array of gaming and non-gaming attractions enables City of Dreams Manila to enjoy market-leading visitation in Manila, positioning the property for long term success as the city develops into one of the leading tourism destinations in Asia,” Ho said.

City of Dreams Manila is Melco Crown Entertainment’s first bet outside Macau. Macau, a gaming hub, is experiencing declining revenues for more than a year now.

Manila aims to rival Macau and Las Vegas in terms of gaming revenues. Foreigners, the Philippines’ major gaming market, visit or play in domestic casinos.

“These (foreigners) are not the very high rollers. These are just the regular customers,” billionaire Andrew Tan earlier said. Tan is the director of Travellers International Holdings Incorporated, the joint venture of this Alliance Global Group and Malaysia’s Genting Group, which operates rival Resorts World Manila. – with reports from Lynda C. Corpuz/

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