Landing International Gets Local Thumbs Up to Build Entertainment’s City’s Fifth Integrated Resort, NayonLanding

Posted on: May 2, 2018, 05:00h. 

Last updated on: May 2, 2018, 04:40h.

Hong Kong-based casino developer Landing International has official approval from local authorities to build a integrated resort in Entertainment City in the Philippines, according to a filing to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

Dr Yang Zhihui, chairman of Landing International
Dr Yang Zhihui, chairman of Landing International, met Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte last September to discuss the possibility of a new integrated resort. It seems the pilgrimage paid off. (Image: South China Morning Post)

The company said the project, called “NayonLanding,” will include a “casino, a Filipino cultural theme park, an indoor water park, an indoor movie-based theme park, a convention center, luxury hotels, retail and dining areas, and other commercial and entertainment facilities.”

Entertainment City is a 120-hectare area of reclaimed land just south of Philippine capital Manila, which currently houses three integrated resorts – Bloomberry’s Solaire Resort and Casino, Melco’s City of Dreams Manila, and Universal Entertainment’s Okada Manila. Malaysian developer Genting is also developing a resort, dubbed Westside City Resorts World.

Philippines’ Cotai Strip

Entertainment City was created with the hope that it would one day be Philippines’ very own Cotai Strip, a land reclamation project in Macau that over the last 12 years has grown to become the center of world’s biggest casino gaming market, thanks to foreign investment and the construction of spectacular integrated resorts.

The Philippine casino market gas gone from strength to strength in recent years, but in January President Rodrigo Duterte told gaming regulator PAGCOR to refrain from issuing any new licenses, apparently because there were already enough casinos in the country.

Landing has swerved the ban on new applicants because, according to PAGCOR, it has been negotiating a license since March 2017, predating the president’s edict.

Family-Oriented Resort

In September, Landing’s chairman, Dr. Yang Zhihui, and his senior management team made a pilgrimage to Manila to meet with Duterte and whisper their proposal in his ear. There was speculation at the time that Yang was seeking a special dispensation to build the first large-scale integrated resort outside Entertainment City, in the Metro Manila area.

Those rumors appear to have been unfounded, or at least, if an alternative venue for the project was discussed, it was not approved.

“NayonLanding will be a family-oriented resort … and together with the existing casino resorts … offers a wide range of leisure and entertainment facilities in the Entertainment City and enhances Manila’s reputation as a modern global city with rich heritage and culture,” said Yang in a press release published Tuesday.

The securities filing emphasized Landing was still in the process of applying for “other approvals” to develop the proposed resort which “may or may not be granted.”