Pagcor's Entertainment City seen to draw extra 1-M tourists
- Ghio Ong, Helen Flores () - September 18, 2011 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.’s (Pagcor) Entertainment City, which will rise along Manila Bay, is expected to attract an extra one million tourists while generating additional one million jobs for Filipinos, officials said.

Pagcor’s assistant vice president for corporate communications Maricar Bautista said two investors – Bloomsberry Investments and SM consortium – are constructing their resorts and are expected to complete their first phase by 2014.

The other two investors – Resorts World Manila developer International Hotel Group Inc. and Japan’s Aruze group – are in their initial stages and are expected to break ground next year, she added.

Earlier, the state gaming firm said it has imposed stricter guidelines on investors to further raise the quality of the development.

“We want to make sure that all four players put in the appropriate investment to make Entertainment City Manila internationally competitive. With the licensees meeting stringent compliance standards, we can guarantee the quality of the developments and infrastructure in the project,” said Francis Hernando, vice president of Pagcor’s Licensed Casino Development Department.

Pagcor said one of the key commitments required from each of the four licensees is to have at least 800 hotel rooms in operation prior to the opening of any casino. The total minimum of 3,200 hotel rooms to be put up by the licensees is expected to increase once tourist numbers grow.

Another key requirement of Pagcor is that the licensees build a total of 250,000 square meters of leisure place, dedicating a maximum of 7.5 percent of the floor area for gaming.

“This ensures that tourists enjoy access to not only a casino but also a variety of resort amenities and attractions,” Pagcor chairman and chief executive officer Cristino Naguiat Jr. said.

Pagcor said it aims to make the Philippines one of the premier tourist destinations in the region and the world, and grow the country’s gaming revenue, currently at about $800 million per year.

“A 10 percent share in the $115-billion global gaming pie will give the Philippines $11.5 billion in revenue, making the country an even bigger destination than Las Vegas in terms of earnings,” Naguiat said.

Tourist arrivals in the Philippines reached an all-time high of 3.52 million last year.

Under the new National Tourism Development Plan, the country aims to double foreign tourist arrivals at 6.3 million international arrivals and 32 million domestic travelers by 2016.

BLOOMSBERRY INVESTMENTS CRISTINO NAGUIAT JR. ENTERTAINMENT CITY ENTERTAINMENT CITY MANILA FRANCIS HERNANDO INTERNATIONAL HOTEL GROUP INC LAS VEGAS LICENSED CASINO DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT MANILA BAY MARICAR BAUTISTA PAGCOR
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