Investors look to launch two casinos in Philippines

The Philippines could see the launch of two new casinos after a U.S. investment group and a Macau-based gaming operator said they are in talks with regulatory authorities in the Philippines to spend $1 billion on new resorts.

Sino-American Gaming Investment Group and Macau Resources Group told Reuters they have proposed large scale resorts – one on the popular Cebu Island and one on the island of Napayawan, near a proposed airport.

Francis Hernando, vice president of PAGCOR, said the companies proposals have been received but the regulator has not made a firm decision on them yet.

“For areas outside of metro Manila, especially in underserved areasthe chances of looking into a casino license would be higher than in Manila,” Hernando said.

Michael Foxman, managing director of Sino-American Gaming, said hotel chain Banyan Tree would take part in the development and that they were also negotiating with the Marriott group, Reuters reported. They have also signed on with a Las Vegas partner for entertainment.

As the Phillippines gaming market grows rapidly – tipped to grow up to 20 percent over the next three years to become a $4.8 billion market, according to Macquarie – companies are eagerly watching market opportunities in the wake of Macau’s difficulties.

U.S. gaming firm Caesars Entertainment Corp approached regulators at the end of 2014 for a project in Manila.