The Philippines casino industry has been showing impressive growth, and now it looks like everyone wants to get in on the game. On May 20, Prime Asset Ventures Inc. (PAVI), the corporation of the richest family in the country, proposed a new casino complex called “Gold Coast Entertainment City.”
The Philippine Daily Inquirer reports the new complex would be built nearby Manila’s international airport “on a 10 to 15-hectare site.” It would be developed and operated by PAVI and its subsidiary Vertex Entertainment and Resorts Corp.
In the announcement, PAVI President Teodulo San Juan Jr. and Vertex President Caroline Cadelina wrote: “The project will include a casino complex, hotels, food and beverage and retail outlets and entertainment centers.” The letter was addressed to Las Piñas City Mayor Imelda Aguilar, who won her reelection bid on May 13.
Her city council will now have to discuss if they will clear PAVI to start construction on the project. As opposed to the Vertis North Solaire complex that will be built in Quezon City, they will be incentivized by this PAVI resort’s goals to cater mostly to tourists arriving at the airport.
“The integrated resort and casino will be designed to convey a resort-like atmosphere. Accommodations and attractions will include nontraditional options to target a younger demographic of gamers and entertainment seekers,” the letter said.
This announcement comes just a week after President Rodrigo Duterte softened his stance on gambling, suggesting that he won’t meddle with gambling operations anymore. He didn’t specifically discuss ending his moratorium on new licenses, but he did seem to offer a white flag to his opponents in the Philippines gambling sector.
That won’t matter for PAVI’s plan to go through, though. They noted in their letter to Aguilar that they already have their gambling license secured, and they’re ready to go so long as the city will have them. The Villar family, considered to be the richest family in the country, were able to secure their license before Duterte put his foot down, and have been simply biding their time until the right opportunity came up.