After several months of delay, Okada Manila is set to formally open its doors next month to make the $2-billion development the biggest integrated casino resort in the country.
In an interview with the Inquirer, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. chair Andrea Domingo said the sprawling casino hotel complex—owned by Japanese gaming tycoon Kazuo Okada—is slated to have its full opening on Feb. 17.
This comes after the third casino resort in the Pagcor Entertainment City complex on the edge of Manila Bay held a “preview” event last Dec. 21, followed by a “soft opening” of a small section of its gaming floor a week later on Dec. 30—both meant to avoid having to pay the regulator a P100-million penalty for missing a yearend opening deadline.
Once opened, the 44-hectare Okada Manila is set to become the largest integrated entertainment resort in the country that will occupy a total floor area of 34,321 square meters, housing more than 500 table games and 3,000 electronic gaming machines. It houses a Y-shaped hotel of two wings offering a total of 993 rooms.
With several industry players fighting for market share in Asia’s highly competitive casino landscape, Okada Manila is already being touted by its operator as a game changer.
Okada Manila president Steve Wolstenholme said the integrated resort has the potential to compete with other gaming giants across the region.
Okada Manila features a dancing fountain comparable to the Dubai Fountain and the Fountains of Bellagio in Las Vegas; Asia’s first nightclub and indoor beach club enclosed in a dome; a high-end retail area; a world-class 3,000-square-meter spa facility, and several food and beverage outlets.
The luxury resort has already contributed to local job generation by employing 22,000 workers to construct and develop the first phase. It is expected to hire 8,000 personnel to operate the casino, food and beverage, and hotel and leisure facilities for the first phase of development alone.
Earlier, Okada said he expected his integrated resort to be profitable in its first year of operations and give a return on his investment in three to five years as the country seeks a larger share of Asia’s gaming and tourism revenue.
Okada built his fortune during the 1980s manufacturing slot machines and Japanese pachinko machines. He is now worth $1.77 billion, according to Forbes magazine. —DAXIM L. LUCAS
Philippine Daily Inquirer