OKADA Manila’s move to invest in Dennis A. Uy’s Emerald Bay Resort and Casino project in Mactan, Cebu is part of its domestic expansion, according to an official of the integrated casino resort.

“We’ve been operating this property since 2016. It has been seven years. We’ve been looking for another opportunity to expand our business. That project could be the one fit into our next step,” Okada Manila Chief Managing Officer Kenji Sugiyama said on the sidelines of a media event last week. 

According to Mr. Sugiyama, the two groups are still going through the partnership’s due diligence process. 

“We just started to negotiate with them. It would take several months to see the result of the negotiations. We are excited for the process of the negotiation. We are going through the due diligence,” he said.

“If the negotiation will be successful, then we will be very happy,” he added. 

Recently, Japanese gaming firm Universal Entertainment Corp. agreed to develop Mr. Uy’s Emerald Bay Resort via its Philippine unit, Tiger Resort Leisure & Entertainment, Inc. (TRLEI), which operates Okada Manila. 

TRLEI executed a term sheet on Dec. 8 with PH Travel and Leisure Holdings Corp., which is a subsidiary of Mr. Uy’s listed firm PH Resorts Group Holdings, Inc. 

The term sheet allows TRLEI to acquire “significant majority ownership” in PH Travel’s subsidiaries Lapulapu Leisure, Inc. and Lapulapu Land Corp. as operators of the Emerald Bay project, allowing it to take over the development. 

Meanwhile, Mr. Sugiyama said that Okada Manila is still seeing more opportunities for growth in 2024. 

“After the pandemic, there is so much potential with the tourism [sector] and everything that has normalized. We’re looking to be better in terms of revenue,” Mr. Sugiyama said. 

Okada Manila earlier reported that it had logged a 48.5% increase in its total revenue to P38.08 billion as of September this year from P25.64 billion a year earlier. 

Its gross gaming revenue from January to September improved by 48% to P35.21 billion from P23.84 billion in the same stretch in 2022. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave