Tycoon in denial on casino

PUBLISHED : Friday, 07 January, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 07 January, 2000, 12:00am

Macau tycoon Stanley Ho Hung-sun said he had no plans to open a casino on the floating restaurant he has towed to Manila Bay in the Philippines.

A spokesman for Mr Ho's office was responding to a Manila church leader who said a casino on board the Jumbo Palace Restaurant would destroy families.

'The plan so far is to open a floating restaurant only,' the spokesman said.

Cardinal Jaime Sin said on Monday that the US$8 million (HK$62 million) Jumbo Palace would encourage a gambling culture and spread crimes such as prostitution if a casino was included on board.

On Wednesday, President Joseph Estrada said he had not issued a licence for the Jumbo Palace to have a casino.

The Jumbo Palace, which arrived in Manila last Friday, is due to open next Tuesday.

Mr Ho's partners in the venture have factored into their projected earnings this year the existence of an on-board gambling venture.

Mr Ho has extended his casino interests to Vietnam and North Korea.