Okada to open Manila casino in 2015 despite Century dispute

Posted at 04/02/14 7:23 PM

MANILA, Philippines – The group of Japanese billionaire Kazuo Okada said the $2-billion Manila Bay Resorts project in Entertainment City will push through despite its ongoing dispute with Century Properties Group Inc.
In a statement, the Okada group said the construction of the hotel and casino, which is expected to open in 2015, will go on as scheduled.

“Our construction is progressing according to schedule. Currently, this construction includes the hotel tower and casino floors. We project mass hiring of operational staff during our planned opening in the 3rd quarter of 2015,” the group said in a statement through its Philippine unit Tiger Resort, Leisure & Entertainment Inc.

Okada’s Eagle I Landholdings Inc., Eagle II Holdco Inc., and Brontia Limited and Century Properties are in a dispute after the agreement for the latter to be a real estate partner in Manila Bay Resorts was terminated by the Okada group.

Century Properties opposed the termination and sought protection from the court to allow it to continue with the project.

The Makati Regional Trial Court has granted the local developer’s petition.

The Okada group, meanwhile, said it “regrets” the dispute but stressed that there are no financial transactions between the two parties.

“In connection with the issue on the allegations of Century Properties Group Inc. (CPGI), we regret that the development turned out the way it did. We wish to say that there have been no financial transactions with CPGI and the Okada group,” it said.

The Japanese group also cited the withdrawal of one of the parties to the agreement, First Paramount Holdings 888, as a valid reason for the termination of the agreement.

“As we have mentioned previously, the investment agreement with CPGI was executed by three parties. Unfortunately, one of the three withdrew from the agreement. Hence, we have no recourse but to stop the negotiations with CPGI,” the group said.

“We are always complying with respective laws and regulations both in Japan and in the Philippines. We will not tolerate any semblance of dishonesty in our dealings. Our goal is to contribute to the Philippine economy through our investments in PAGCOR city and generate employment to thousands of Filipinos, during the construction phase and the operational aspect of the project,” it added.

The Okada group expects the project to generate 15,000 jobs both for direct and indirect employees.