Despite criticisms from various sectors surrounding Pagcor’s Entertainment City and the perception that it’s going to become a modern-day Sodom and Gomorrah, Pagcor received a much appreciated vote of approval from the highest office in the land: Malacañang Palace.
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda told reporters that Entertainment City is being promoted, not as a haven for sin and temptation, but as a family destination. “The idea of the Entertainment City, to be more specific, is that it’s beyond gaming,” he said. “We’re trying to develop a situation where we can pattern Las Vegas. We can have the entire family brought in and enjoy the amenities of a family vacation.”
“There should be no morality issue as to the existence of these gaming areas,” Lacierda adds.
The presidential spokesperson also emphasized what Pagcor chairman and CEO Cristino Naguiat Jr. has made known for quite some time now: Entertainment City is being developed so that everyone, be it adults or kids, can enjoy staying there. “It involves the whole family going on a vacation while the adults are playing in the casinos. The children could go around and be entertained as well with the various theme parks or whatever rides that they are proposing.”
It certainly goes without saying that there’s a lot riding on the success of Entertainment City, not just for Pagcor, but for the country itself. Naguiat has made no bones about his plan for the 100-hectare Entertainment City project and its prospective role of being a revenue flow for the Philippines – Naguiat estimates to hit $10 billion in annual gaming revenues – when all four high luxury casinos have set up shop and opened.
All the people who have expressed fear and apprehension regarding Entertainment City becoming a haven for temptation for a lot of Filipinos are missing the point. Sure, there’s an element of adult-oriented entertainment on the future site, but that’s only one piece to the puzzle. Pagcor is promoting the project in so many different ways to cater to a diverse clientele, and boxing it into one classification – Sodom and Gommorah? Really? – isn’t doing its future public perception any good.