Heritage Hotel to close casino

By Neil Jerome C. Morales, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jun 02 2013 10:01 AM | Updated as of Jun 02 2013 06:01 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Grand Plaza Hotel Corp. (GPH) will no longer offer casino and other gaming activities to guests at the Heritage Hotel Manila.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange, GPH said the state-run gaming firm Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) is not renewing its lease contract with the hotel operator.

The lease agreement, which allows Pagcor to use a portion of Heritage Hotel Manila for its casino operations and related activities, will expire on July 10.

“The management of the corporation is in the process of exploring various options on how to develop and utilize the area covered by the leased premises,” GPH said.

“The leased premises cover a total area of 4,745 square meters, with a current monthly rental of P10.72 million,” it added.

The lease contract, which is renewed every three years, was first approved by GPH and Pagcor in August 1993. The last renewal of the deal was in March 2010.

To date, Pagcor has 13 casino operations nationwide through the Casino Filipino brand. It is also the company behind the 100-hectare Entertainment City, the Philippines’ answer to the gaming hubs in
Macau, Singapore and Las Vegas.

GPH, for its part, owns the 18-year-old Heritage Hotel Manila, a deluxe hotel that offers 467 rooms and facilities like restaurants, ballrooms and a casino.

In the first quarter, net income of GPH fell nearly nine percent to P43.81 million as total revenues dropped almost two percent to P184.55 million.

“The main reason for the fall is due to lower food and beverage revenue but offset by the higher room and other income,” GPH said.

The rooms division improved its occupancy to 77 percent from 72 percent but average room rates fell to P3,163 from P3,221, the company said.