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Major casino opens in Manila

28 August 2009

MANILA, Philippines -- As reported by Bloomberg: "Philippine billionaire Andrew Tan and Star Cruises Ltd. today opened their $700 million Resorts World Manila, which will double the tables in the city and may boost its casino revenue more than 120 percent.

"'Our expectation is this will contribute to earnings within the first year of operations,' said Kingson Sian, president of Alliance Global Group Inc., the holding company of Tan, the Philippines' fourth-richest person. The venture will tap Star Cruises' network of more than 2.5 million customers and will bus in people from outside Manila, he said.

"The casino's opening in a former air force base is another step in the Philippines' effort to tap Asia's gambling boom as it could gain revenue from the region's high rollers, Macquarie Group Ltd. analysts said. While growth has slowed in Macau, the world's largest gambling hub.

"...The venture, Travellers International Hotel Group Inc., opened the first floor of a three-level casino at a complex that will include hotels and a shopping mall. Resorts World Manila may earn 21 billion pesos ($430 million) in gambling revenue next year, compared with the city's 17 billion pesos in 2008, according to Macquarie.

"...Resorts World Manila, located in front of the capital's new airport terminal, will draw 11.1 million visitors and raise $315 million in gambling taxes over three years, Sian said..."

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