Palace: New Pagcor mega-project is 'Entertainment City,' not sin city

The new Sodom and Gomorrah it isn't, according to Malacañang.

Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda on Thursday defended the development of an Entertainment City, proposed by state-owned Philippine Amusement Gaming Corp., (Pagcor), which runs an extremely lucrative network of casinos.

“The idea of the Entertainment City, to be more specific, is that it’s beyond gaming. 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,” Lacierda said. “That’s the idea specifically of Chairman Naguiat when it comes to Entertainment City.”

"So there should be no [morality] issue as to the existence of these gaming areas," Lacierda added.

PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Cristino Naguiat, Jr. had said earlier during the 9th ASEAN Finance Ministers’ Investor Seminar in Hong Kong that the Philippine government is aiming for a 10 percent slice of the world’s gaming pie in the next several years.

Though he admitted that compared to Las Vegas, Macau and Singapore, the Philippine gaming industry has a long way to go in terms of revenue potential, the target can be achieved given the right blend “of private sector investment, regulatory maturity and improvements in tourism infrastructure.”

Lacierda meanwhile concurred with Naguiat’s proposal, saying that the development will change the landscape of gaming in the country. “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,” Lacierda said.

He added that the family-oriented Entertainment City will not have children running amok in casinos. “We also have a policy that we do not allow children to be engaged or to play in the gaming areas,” Lacierda explained.

“We are in compliance with existing rules on gaming. They are beyond what the law requires.”

The lower expenses involved in Philippine gaming is also another drawing point. “And that’s what made Las Vegas successful, and that is one thing that we have owing to our lower cost, we can be competitive in that regard,” Lacierda added.

Four Integrated Resorts are currently being built by PAGCOR for the 100-hectare Entertainment City project. It is being built with the help of four private proponents.

The Entertainment City will be located at the reclamation area of Manila Bay.

“At full development, Entertainment City is expected to have the capacity to deliver up to $10 billion annually in gaming revenues, as well as generate over 400,000 direct and indirect jobs,” Naguiat had earlier said. — DVM/HS, GMA News

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Mercy pleas for Indonesia death row inmates as families arrive
    Mercy pleas for Indonesia death row inmates as families arrive

    Families of foreign drug convicts set to be hauled before the firing squad in Indonesia issued desperate mercy pleas on Saturday, as France warned of "diplomatic consequences" if one of its nationals is executed. Consular officials and relatives were arriving at a town near Nusakambangan, the high-security prison island where Indonesian executions are carried out, and where all of the death row convicts are now congregated. The foreigners -- two from Australia, one each from Brazil, France …

  • United States seeks access to Philippine bases as part of Asia pivot
    United States seeks access to Philippine bases as part of Asia pivot

    The United States has asked for access to Philippine military bases in eight locations to rotate troops, aircraft, and ships as Washington shifts its forces to Asia and as China expands its military presence in the South China Sea. U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter, in a speech in Arizona, has outlined Washington's next phase in its Asia "pivot", deploying its most sophisticated destroyers, bombers and fighters to the region. The Asia "pivot" has already seen U.S. Marines rotating through the …

  • China's island-building to loom large at SE Asia summit
    China's island-building to loom large at SE Asia summit

    China's creation of new island footholds in contested seas will hover over a Southeast Asian summit that has become an annual test of the region's nerve in standing up to its massive neighbour. The South China Sea hot potato drops this year into Malaysia's lap as the rotating chair of the 10 member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and host of Monday's meeting. ASEAN states Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei claim parts of the strategic South China Sea, but Beijing …

  • Philippines, China trade accusations over sea threats

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippines accused China of aggressive maneuvers against its reconnaissance plane and fishermen in disputed seas where Beijing has stepped up construction of artificial islands, but China reiterated its claim on the strategic waterways. …

  • Indonesia orders execution of Mary Jane, 9 others
    Indonesia orders execution of Mary Jane, 9 others

    Indonesia has ordered preparations for the execution of 10 drug convicts, including Filipina Mary Jane Veloso, as the Philippine government filed yesterday a second appeal for judicial review of the case to save the maid from death by firing squad. The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) of Indonesia released an official letter dated April 23, instructing prosecutors to prepare for the execution of 10 convicts, the Jakarta Post reported yesterday. The execution would be conducted after the …

  • Business groups back K to 12 program
    Business groups back K to 12 program

    The government’s K to 12 program adding two more years to basic education received support from various business groups yesterday. However, they urged relevant government agencies to deal with issues regarding the implementation of Republic Act 10533, the Enhanced Basic Education Act or K-12 Law. In a statement, business groups led by the Philippine Business for Education (PBEd) said RA 10533 is a milestone piece of legislation that intends to bring the Philippines up to par with the rest of …

  • Happiest nations: Phl ranks 90th
    Happiest nations: Phl ranks 90th

    Switzerland is the happiest country in the world, while the Philippines placed 90th, according to a global ranking of happiness unveiled in New York on Thursday. Switzerland was followed closely by Iceland, Denmark, Norway and Canada. The 2015 World Happiness Report is the third annual report seeking to quantify happiness as a means of influencing government policy. The United Nations published the first study in 2012. …

  • Asean leaders want binding sea code with China
    Asean leaders want binding sea code with China

    Southeast Asian leaders will seek to speed up plans for a binding code of conduct with China governing behavior in the disputed South China Sea at a summit next week, Malaysia’s foreign minister said Friday. Foreign Minister Anifah Aman said a massive flow of Muslim Rohingya refugees from Myanmar to neighboring countries will also be discussed at the two-day summit of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which starts Monday. Anifah said leaders are expected to raise concerns …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options