Melco Crown Philippines unveils ‘City of Dreams Manila’

Integrated casino resort developer Melco Crown (Philippines) Resorts Corporation (MCP), a developer and owner of casino gaming and entertainment resort facilities in Asia, recently announced that its new integrated casino resort at Entertainment City, Manila, will be branded “City of Dreams Manila.”

Furthermore, following various amendments to gaming regulations in the Philippines by PAGCOR, City of Dreams Manila has been permitted to operate a substantially increased number of gaming tables and electronic gaming machines upon opening.

Brand Unveiling

In recognition of Melco Crown Entertainment’s commitment to bringing the best in entertainment and gaming to the Philippines, MCP’s integrated casino resort in Manila will be branded City of Dreams Manila, the namesake of Melco Crown Entertainment’s world-class flagship integrated resort in Macau, City of Dreams. City of Dreams Manila, when it opens around the middle of 2014, will mark the formal entry of Melco Crown Entertainment into the fast-growing and dynamic tourism industry in thea Philippines.

The recently held naming ceremony was officiated by the visionary behind the City of Dreams brand—Co-Chairman and CEO Lawrence Ho and Co-Chairman James Packer, accompanied by the Chairman and President of MCP, Clarence Chung.

Ho says, “City of Dreams Manila will herald a new era of entertainment in Manila and will provide visitors with an exceptional world-class gaming and entertainment experience, delivering international standards of retail, food and beverage, and hotel amenities, together with diverse and innovative lifestyle and entertainment offerings. I am confident that City of Dreams Manila will be the pride of the leisure and entertainment industry here in the Philippines.”

City of Dreams Manila will include an approximately 260-room Crown Towers hotel, a luxurious, premium hotel brand, adding to the brand’s two current locations; Crown Towers hotel at Crown Melbourne, Australia and the Forbes Five Star Crown Towers hotel at City of Dreams Macau. The Crown Towers hotel at City of Dreams Manila will cater to the high-end VIP and premium mass market segments in Manila, leveraging the experience that Melco Crown Entertainment has built up in these key segments.

James Packer, co-chairman of Melco Crown Entertainment, says, “Melco Crown Entertainment’s decision to introduce the exclusive and luxurious Crown Towers hotel brand to City of Dreams Manila further illustrates the commitment in expanding the premium and high-end gaming market in the Philippines, a valuable market that Manila is comparatively missing out on.”

Meaningful Increase In Gaming Positions

To encourage casino licensees in Entertainment City to develop and operate high quality, internationally competitive, hotel and non-gaming amenities, as well as drive junket gaming operations at their integrated casino resorts in Entertainment City, Manila, PAGCOR has recently enacted revisions to Regulations 2 (Casino Layout), Regulations 3 (Gaming Tables) and Regulations 4 (Electronic Gaming Machines) of the Casino Regulatory Manual.

In addition to the current requirement that each integrated casino resort have a minimum of 800 room keys and a weighted average hotel room size of 40 square meters, the previous Entertainment City regulatory framework allowed a certain allocation of gaming tables and electronic table games with reference to the number of hotel rooms in operation at the resort.

The Regulatory Revisions allow for an increased number of gaming tables, additional bonus junket tables and electronic gaming machines provided that various size thresholds for hotel rooms, room suites and villas are met. As a result of these Regulatory Revisions, City of Dreams Manila is now anticipated to be able to operate up to approximately 365 gaming tables, 1,680 slot machines and 1,680 electronic table games upon opening.

Chung lauds PAGCOR’s decision, saying, “This demonstrates PAGCOR’s forward-thinking approach to ensure integrated casino resorts in Entertainment City, Manila, possess adequate amenities, which are of a quality and scale necessary to contribute to the long-term success of Entertainment City.”

As a result of the decision to deploy the City of Dreams and Crown Towers brands, as well as reconfiguration of the integrated resort following the increase in allowable gaming positions, the anticipated project budget for City of Dreams Manila has been increased to approximately $680 million, from approximately $620 million.

City of Dreams Manila is being developed and to be operated by Melco Crown (Philippines) Resorts Corporation in alliance with SM Group’s Belle Corporation. The integrated resort will feature three distinctive entertainment venues, including Manila’s first branded Family Entertainment Center, a live performance central lounge inside the casino, and a night club situated at the Fortune Egg, an architecturally-unique dome-like structure, which will be accented with creative exterior lighting design. It is expected to become an iconic landmark of the Manila Bay area.

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