Former Wynn partner plans Manila resort
July 25, 2016 10:32 AM
by Phil Hevener
Steve Wynn’s former partner Kazuo Okada, plans to challenge Macau by wooing Chinese gamblers to his Manila casino resort that could cost $4 billion and is scheduled to open in November.
Okada, the chairman of Universal Entertainment, wants his casino featuring a 100 meter (328 feet) dancing water fountain and indoor beach, “to compete with what is in Macau” and other parts of Asia, said Takahiro Usui, chief operating officer at Universal’s Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment Inc. “This project will promote Manila as a destination in the region and the world.”
The Manila resort could cost $3 billion in its first phase and reach $4 billion when three more phases are built, making it the tycoon’s “biggest investment,” Usui said in an interview in Manila. That would be more than twice the $1.9 billion market capitalization of Universal Entertainment, the Tokyo-based maker of gambling machines in which Okada Holdings controls a 68 percent stake.
Manila is aspiring to become the next Asian gambling hub as high-stakes Chinese gamblers increasingly abandon Macau amid the Chinese government’s crackdown on corruption. Okada’s project is one of four casino resorts the Philippines wants built on a 120-hectare property along Manila Bay.