• Okada Manila opens

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    (Corrected version, with third paragraph now referring to the first 21.55 hectares, instead of 21.55 percent)

    OKADA Manila, the new $2.4-billion casino resort complex at the Entertainment City, is holding its soft opening today, December 21, with a Christmas Preview Concert for free in celebration of the holidays.

    The event will feature performances from top local artists such as Regine Velasquez-Alcasid, Lani Misalucha and Bamboo, as well as a spectacular fireworks and light display.

    Only Phase 1 — the first 21.55 hectares, or 50 percent — of the 44-hectare Okada Manila development, will be open to the public today.

    The Phase 1 development consists of two Y-shaped hotel towers with 993 rooms, an indoor night club and beach club, a 41,000-sqm casino area with 500 table games and 3,000 electronic games, 21 outlets for various food and beverages brands, a leasing area for high-end retail stores, a 3,000-sqm spa, and a dancing fountain which reportedly cost $30 million to build.

    Gaming tycoon Kazuo Okada, through Philippine casino developer Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment Inc., invested $2.4 billion in the first phase development.

    The casino is expected to employ 8,000 Filipinos once it becomes fully operational.

    In addition, Okada also invested $35 million in Aruze Philippines Manufacturing Inc., a sister company of Tiger Resorts engaged in making slot machines based in Sto. Tomas, Batangas. The slot machine factory moved to the Philippines from Japan in 2009.

    Aruze employs 800 workers, 99 percent of whom are Filipinos. This is on top of the 8,000 jobs set to be generated by the casino’s full opening and 11,000 others who constructed the first phase.

    Both of Okada’s investments in the Philippines are subsidiaries of parent firm Universal Entertainment Corp., also owned by the Japanese billionaire.

    Tiger Resorts said Okada’s investments are contributing significantly to the Duterte administration’s target of reducing unemployment to as low as 4 percent by 2022.

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