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Is Philippines the Next Market for Macau Casinos? - Analyst Blog

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Reportedly, the Sino-American Gaming Investment Group and Macau Resources Group Ltd are in talks to spend $1.0 billion for developing two new casino resorts in Philippines.

Macau Resources Group is a New York-based gaming operator. The Sino-American Gaming Investment Group is a U.S. investment company controlled by Denver-based consultant RiskWise Group.

Both these casino resorts would be ideally located, one on the island of Cebu, a popular tourist destination, and the other one on the island of Napayawan, which is close to a proposed airport.

Francis Hernando – vice president at gaming licensing and development regulator PAGCOR –stated they received proposals from two groups but the final decision is pending.

Sino-American Gaming has stated that Banyan Tree Holdings, a Singapore-listed resort developer would also be a part of the project. Also, reportedly negotiations are in progress with Marriott International, Inc.’s MAR Marriott Hotel Group for the development of the resort. A Las Vegas company has been signed to provide entertainment.

Finally Some Good News for the Gambling Industry

We believe the selection of Philippines as the location for the two resorts is prudent. The casinos would be built away from Manila and the Entertainment City, which already have expansion plans over the next three years. Therefore, this would minimize competition to some extent for the upcoming resorts.

Meanwhile, the casino market in Philippines grew 16% in 2014. Per Macquarie Research, the gaming industry is expected to grow 20% over the next three years and generate revenues of at least $4.8 billion by 2018. This further justifies Sino-American Gaming Investment and Macau Resources’ intention to expand in the region.

It seems that the news came as a relief for some of the leading casino operators like Las Vegas Sands Corp. LVS and Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd. MPEL. Their share prices moved up likely on prospects of new sales avenues. These companies have been bearing the brunt of the Macau slump over the past 10 months and are looking for new ways to boost profits. Melco Crown already has a resort in Entertainment City. Meanwhile, one other player in the industry, Caesars Entertainment Corp. CZR had also filed a proposal to build a fully integrated resort in Manila in 2014.

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