Casino Life

Cebu City Casino Now Targets March 2022 Soft Launch

Philippine businessman Dennis Uy’s Udenna Group has unveiled plans to soft launch its Cebu City hotel and casino resort by March 2022 after pushing back the property’s opening several times due to challenges stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.

PH Resorts Group Holdings, Udenna’s gaming and hospitality division, said in a stock market note that construction of what would operate as Emerald Bay Resort & Casino is under way and the complex is likely to have its soft opening by the end of next year’s first quarter.

The company broke ground on the property in late 2017. It is currently under development in Lapu-Lapu City in Cebu. Its first phase was scheduled to open in the third quarter of 2020, but the outbreak of Covid-19 and the multiple restrictive measures adopted by Philippine lawmakers to curb the spread of the virus resulted in a significant delay in construction work.

Phase one of the planned resort is now expected to fully open in the third quarter of 2022. It will include a casino with 122 gaming tables and 600 slot machines as well as a hotel with 270 rooms. Future phases include expanded gaming space with additional machines and tables as well as different dining outlets, a convention center, more hotel rooms, and retail space, among other amenities.

Recovery to Be Under Way by Next Year

Commenting on their newly revealed plans for the opening of the hotel and casino resort, PH Resorts Chief Operating Officer Jose Angel Sueiro said that the timing of “Emerald Bay’s first phase completion by the third quarter of next year will be ideal with the recovery already seen to be well under way by that time.”

Covid-19’s spread last spring forced the Philippine government to adopt a package of measures aiming to curb the spread of the virus, including restrictions on international and local travel and the closure of non-essential businesses.

The nation’s casinos stayed closed for months last year and were then allowed to resume operations at limited capacity. In March, they were ordered to close for the second time amid a surge in Covid-19 cases. They are currently still shut.

PH Resorts said that as more people will get vaccinated in the coming months, international and local flights will likely resume to spur recovery in the country’s and the region’s tourism industry.

Emerald Bay was first scheduled to open its first phase in the third quarter of the year. However, its developer was forced to first push back the resort’s launch for the end of 2021 and then push it back to next year.

Source: Dennis Uy’s casino resort eyes soft opening in 2022, ABS-CBN, May 20, 2021

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