Okada Manila Operator Seeks U.S. Investors

Universal Entertainment, which operates Okada Manila (l.), is planning to list the holding company for its Philippines integrated resort business on the New York Stock Exchange or the Nasdaq.

Okada Manila Operator Seeks U.S. Investors

Japan-listed Universal Entertainment, operator of Okada Manila in the Philippines’ Entertainment City casino district, is planning to list the holding company for its integrated resort (IR) business there in the United States.

According to Asia Gaming Brief, the company has retained a number of advisors in the U.S. and Japan to facilitate a listing on either the Nasdaq or the New York Stock Exchange.

Universal operates Okada Manila through a subsidiary, Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment. Though it acknowledged that business has been hampered by Covid-19-mandated restrictions, it’s made use of the interlude to cut fixed costs and enhance marketing, positioning it for increased profit margins in the future.

Fourth-quarter gross gaming revenues for the Philippines were much improved over the previous quarter. Total industry GGR, which includes bingo and electronic games, as well as licensed casinos, saw a 46 percent rebound from the prior quarter to PHP27.79 billion (US$577 million). The casinos in Manila’s Entertainment City, home of Okada Manila, posted GGR of PHP16.9 billion, up from PHP12.9 billion the prior quarter.

Closed borders have had less of an impact on the Philippine gaming industry, as the local mass market has remained strong and in fact markedly improved. Universal said the U.S. listing would help further expand its IR segment.