The Philippine real estate and retail billionaire Manuel B. Villar Jr. is making an investment worth about $1 billion to establish an integrated casino resort through the redevelopment of a shopping mall situated along the Las Pinas C5 extension.
A few days ago, Mr. Villar confirmed that the conversion works began at the site of Vista Mall Global South. He further shared that the casino’s gross floor area would be about 18,000 square meters large, which is approximately as big as the gaming space available at the Solaire Resort and Casino.
The real estate tycoon also shared that his group already had received not only the necessary license from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) but also the approvals from the local Government. According to him, the conversion of an already existing mall building into a casino facility would save about a whole year’s time of construction work, which would allow the group to bring the project to an end more quickly. That is exactly why Mr. Villar Jr. has projected that the planned integrated casino resort is likely to be finalized in about a year.
The group is soon expected to officially announce a foreign partner that would join the billionaire’s group as an operator of the new venture.
High-Rollers Still Playing Major Role in Philippine Integrated Casino Resorts, Mr. Villar Says
The estate that the Philippine billionaire in the area is about 80 hectares. The place could be developed into an integrated resort that features not only a casino but also hotels, malls, condotels, and a theme park. As revealed by Mr. Villar Jr., the planned integrated casino resort would be the largest one in terms of land area.
Apart from that, the establishment would effectively become the fifth integrated casino resort from the Philippines’ version of the iconic Las Vegas Strip. Four of the other Philippine integrated casino resorts are situated at the PAGCOR Entertainment City and include Okada Manila, Enrique Razon’s Solaire, Andrew Tan’s Westside City and Belle Corp.’s City of Dreams Manila.
As shared by Mr. Villar Jr. his integrated casino resort would follow the example of Las Vegas gambling hubs. According to him, the so-called “Las Vegas model” no longer relies on affluent visitors, also known as high-rollers, but mostly on slot machines. Still, he acknowledged the great role played by high-rollers in the resort’s future and added that many parties were now trying to attract so-called high-rollers to the upcoming casino.
The owner of the project also confirmed that his commitment to PAGCOR was to invest $1 billion in the integrated casino project, with the investment also including the value of the land. Under the rules of the country’s gambling regulatory body, Mr. Villar Jr. is required to make sure that the number of hotel rooms is at a certain proportion rate to the gambling space of the resort in order for the place to be allowed to start operation.
More details on the construction and operation of the integrated gaming project are expected to be provided by the owner by the following year, considering the project is taking shape just when the Covid-19 pandemic protocols in the Philippines have been relaxed. The branding of the integrated casino resort is also yet to be finalized.