ccording to Pagcor Chairman and CEO Cristino L. Naguiat, Jr., the state-owned gaming firm recently stipulated new guidelines that define the minimum standards required to operate an integrated resort in the Entertainment City Manila. “This is in order to rationalize project implementation and assure a level playing field,” said
Four companies were granted the authority to build, own and operate integrated resorts in Entertainment City Manila – the Travellers International Hotel Group, which owns Resorts World Manila, the SM Consortium, Tiger Resorts Leisure and Entertainment, and Bloomberry Resorts and Hotels.
Entertainment City Manila is expected to generate aggregate investments from the four licensees of at least us$ 4 billion within the next five years. The Pagcor guidelines require a minimum of us$ 1 billion to be invested in each integrated resort. Each licensee is also required to build a minimum of 250,000 square meters of floor area and complete 800 hotel rooms with an average hotel room area of 40 square meters before opening the casino.
“To ensure transparency and adherence to global standards, Pagcor will soon begin the process of engaging a well-respected consulting firm that will monitor the compliance of each licensee with respect to the guidelines that we have recently imposed on the licensees,” Naguiat shared.
Pagcor is encouraging all four licensees to fast-track the development of Entertainment City Manila with at least 5,000 new internationally benchmarked hotel rooms. This would greatly boost the tourism industry and move the Philippines closer to becoming one of the major tourism destinations in Asia.
“We intend to capture a share in the total global gaming market, which is estimated at us$ 115 billion annually, through the Entertainment City Manila project. A 10% share will give us us$ 11.5 billion which would make us bigger than Las Vegas. Our strategic location in Asia and the world-renowned Filipino hospitality and service set us apart from other countries in the region. We expect to generate P1 million jobs and P1 million tourists in the next few years,” Naguiat added.
The four integrated resorts will usher in a new era in Philippine tourism as it provides a holistic approach to tourism through its interconnected facilities covering a broad range of entertainment activities such as shopping, dining, concerts and the performing arts, exhibits, and gaming. Entertainment City Manila will showcase the best of Philippine arts and culture as well as world-class Filipino hospitality and service.
“Amid a very competitive global environment, it is imperative that Pagcor implements global standards to ensure that the Entertainment City Manila will be well-positioned to compete with the best integrated resorts in Asia,” Naguiat concluded.