After Suncity Group Holdings locked in a very lucrative agreement and some additional funding for the project, it got to work on the development of a new casino resort project in the Philippines. The property, located at the Westside City Project in Manila, is supported by a 45-year operating agreement given to the junket operator by Travellers International Hotel Group, and the first shovels have already started making way for the massive property. GGRAsia sent a request for an update to Suncity to find out when the resort might be ready, and the company responded by indicating that everything is on track for the initial phase to be completed on time, toward the end of 2022. Other phases of the project will then follow.
Suncity expects the hotel and casino to be ready in just a little over two years, with the rest of the amenities and facilities opening within a year after. This is similar to what the company announced this past June and explained to GGRAsia, “Whilst we are confident that we could stick to the grand opening schedule of Westside City Project in 2023, we would like to open the doors of the casino floor as early as possible, targeting 2022 year-end.” The initial groundbreaking had run into a couple of obstacles because of COVID-19 restrictions in Manila.
Those restrictions are still causing some difficulty for Suncity, with the company indicating that no one, including company chairman Alvin Chau, has been able to take a trip to the Philippines to see how things are going. For now, the company can only rely on its people on the ground to stay on top of things and report all the progress that’s taking place. As soon as the travel restrictions are lifted, though, there’s a good possibility many of Suncity’s upper echelon will be taking a field trip to the Philippines.
Westside is part of Entertainment City, a massive, 297-acre “build-it-and-they-will-come” scheme in the Philippines modeled after the success of Macau’s gaming market in the Cotai district. The biggest difference is currently centered on the overall progress of the development, which has had to deal with COVID-19 as it was trying to gain traction. In contrast, Cotai has a solid track record of operations and will be able to rebound a little easier.
Once Suncity’s operations are up and running, it will be able to include a few new bragging rights. In the just-completed 6th Investor Relations Awards, the company took home three awards. It won for Best Integrated Resort (IR) Company – Mid Cap, Best IR by Chairman/CEO– Mid Cap (Andrew Lo) and Best Investor Meeting – Mid Cap.