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City of Dreams Manila soft opening Dec 14: Lawrence Ho

Casino resort City of Dreams Manila is to have a soft opening on December 14, Lawrence Ho Yau Lung, co-chairman and chief executive of Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd told GGRAsia on the sidelines of a media event in Macau on Monday.

He told us: “There will be an opening on 14th December. That will be a soft opening for the local market, not a media event.”

Mr Ho added that a more formal first phase opening would probably take place in February 2015.

The scheme is a partnership between Melco Crown and Philippine-based Premium Leisure and Amusement Inc, a unit of Premium Leisure Corp, controlled by the family of Philippine billionaire Henry Sy.

During a conference call with investment analysts on November 6 to discuss Melco Crown’s third quarter results, Mr Ho had mentioned a formal opening for the first phase for “the first quarter of 2015.”

A firm called MCE Leisure Ltd, a unit of Philippine Stock Exchange-listed Melco Crown (Philippines) Resorts Corp – will be entitled to retain all profits from non-gaming operations at City of Dreams Manila, according to a filing by parent Melco Crown made to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Melco Crown Philippines must however share gaming revenue from City of Dreams Manila with its local partners.

The Lunar New Year – also known in Greater China as Chinese New Year – falls on Thursday, February 19 next year. The festival is a popular time for many Asians to gamble, and in Macau in previous years has been associated with a spike in gaming revenue. In Chinese New Year 2014, which fell on January 31, the subsequent month of February saw a 40 percent year-on-year rise in gross gaming revenue in Macau.

– GGRAsia

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