Hong Kong-listed casino investor Landing International Development Ltd. has secured the much-needed approval of a local council for the development of its “integrated leisure and entertainment resort” in the Philippine state capital.
In a regulatory filing, Landing announced the Paranaque City Council has granted their request “to develop and operate an integrated resort” in Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation’s (PAGCOR) Entertainment City.
Securing the city council’s approval, however, is just the beginning of a very long and tedious process of getting a provisional license from PAGCOR.
Casino operators wanting to launch an integrated resort in the Philippines have to first secure a provisional license from the state regulator before it can be granted with a Notice to Commence Casino Operations, and then, eventually, a regular casino gaming license.
PAGCOR explained that operators need to submit a Letter of Intent, a Certificate of No Objection from the local government, a minimum investment commitment, and other initial documentary requirements in order to get a provisional license.
Upon securing a provisional license, PAGCOR said operators need to submit all the requirements for a regular casino gaming license, including a minimum investment commitment of $1 billion.
Landing confirmed it is “still in the process of applying for other approvals required to develop and operate the Integrated Resort, and these may or may not be granted.”
It is too early to tell whether the support given by the Paranaque City Council will add weight to their campaign to get in the Philippine gambling market, especially since Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered a moratorium on the issuance of casino licenses.
However, Landing managed to submit its application before the January 13, 2018 moratorium on integrated resorts, and way before PAGCOR chair Andrea Domingo expressed the government’s apprehension toward adding another integrated resort in Entertainment City.
Domingo confirmed that Landing has already presented to the board their integrated resort plans but she already informed the casino operator to secure a clearance from the Office of the President.