Manila Jockey plans casino, hotel in Manila

MJCI Investments Inc. (MJCI), a company controlled by listed racetrack operator Manila Jockey Club Inc. (MJC), is spending PHP 383 million to put up and operate a casino project in Santa Cruz, Manila.

In an interview, corporate information officer Peter Francis Zagala told the BusinessMirror that MJCI is considering two options to raise the funds needed for the project.

The company may either ask for fresh infusion from its stakeholders or secure a loan package from the banks, he said. “We hope to start with the casino project this year,” said Zagala.

The company got an approval from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. last year to run a casino, which would initially feature 200 slot machines and 10 gaming tables.

Once the building of the casino is completed, MJCI would start planning for the construction of a hotel adjacent to the establishment.

“The hotel would definitely enhance the casino operations. Maybe in two to three years time, that would be finished,” said Zagala.

Both the hotel and casino will be constructed on a 1.6-hectare lot, which is part of MJC’s sprawling 12-hectare property in Santa Cruz.

Incorporated in March 1937, MJC is currently engaged in the operation and maintenance of a racetrack located in Cavite and holding of horse races with bettings. It is also engaged in the development and sale of residential complex through joint venture arrangements with some developers.

In 2005, MJC inked a joint development agreement with Ayala group’s Avida Land Corp. and Community Innovations Inc. for the development lots within the Manila property into a primary residential complex consisting of condominium buildings and townhouses.

A similar agreement was also forged in 2004 for the development of a 17.09-hectare lot in Carmona, Cavite into an exclusive residential subdivision with some commercial areas.