Cebu casino to pursue groundbreaking
A proposed integrated resorts and casino in Cebu City will hold its groundbreaking ceremony on August 25.
Cebu casino to pursue groundbreaking
Rosette Adel ( - August 20, 2018 - 8:33pm

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 1:48 p.m., Aug. 22, 2018) — A local official of Cebu City on Monday said the proposed integrated resorts and casino would push through with its groundbreaking this month amid President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to stop building casinos.

UPDATE: Proposed casino at SRP not covered by Duterte prohibition

Francisco “Bimbo” Fernandez, Cebu City executive assistant to the mayor, said the P18 billion-worth integrated resort and casino of taipan John Gokongwei would hold its groundbreaking on August 25.

Fernandez said the groundbreaking is already scheduled and Gokongwei is set to fly to Cebu.

In March, Gokongwei committed to give P18 billion to put up the casino resort in Cebu’s South Road Properties, an 80,000 square meter reclamation area in the southern part of Cebu City.

The STAR reported that “the Gokongwei-owned Universal Hotels and Resorts Inc., has submitted to the local government an unsolicited proposal to develop the Kawit property in the SRP into an integrated resort and casino facility.”

READ: Gokongwei eyes P18 biliion casino in Cebu

“He (Gokongwei) wants to be here in the groundbreaking,” Fernandez said on Monday.

“They're in a hurry to do it. They already want to start construction and they’re going to apply for permit and such,” he added.

Earlier, Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña said part of the P18 billion investment of Gokongwei would go to the hiring of construction workers, security guards and electricians who would build the casino resort. He said this project would generate around 5,000 jobs.

Duterte, however, repeatedly said that he had ordered agencies to stop building casinos. He said there would be no casinos built aside from those that already exist.

READ: What we know so far: Duterte's 'no new casinos' directive

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.said that Duterte imposed the moratorium on new casinos effective Jan.13, 2018. 

The president previously criticized the plan of Macau-based Galaxy Entertainment Group to build a casino-resort in Boracay, which is now closed for rehabilitation.

Galaxy’s local partner Leisure and Resorts World Corp. said its subsidiary acquired 23 hectares of land in Barangay Manoc-Manoc, Boracay Island—where the $500 million casino project would be constructed.

Last August 9, Duterte also said he fired the board and management of the Nayong Pilipino Foundation for awarding casino-resort investor Landing Resorts Philippines Development Corp. a deal without public bidding.

The dismissal of the NPF officials coincided on the same morning as the groundbreaking ceremony for the $1.5-billion Nayon Landing integrated resort-casino in Entertainment City, Parañaque.

Despite the halt directive, World Casino Directory listed at least six casinos that have been proposed and are soon to open.

These are:

  • Boracay casino in Malay, Aklan – proposed

  • Nayon Landing in Parañaque City – proposed

  • Mactan Leisure City in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu – proposed

  • Solaire in Quezon City – coming soon

  • Westside City in Parañaque City – coming soon

  • Filinvest Mimosa + Leisure City in Clark, Pampanga – coming soon

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