Announcement of Exciting New Korean Casino Project in the Philippines
Manuel Villar Jr., a prominent Filipino business leader, is making a bold move into the gaming industry with a groundbreaking $1 billion casino and hotel project in Las Piñas City, Philippines. This venture, in collaboration with a prestigious Korean consortium, represents Villar’s expansion into the world of gaming. After successful negotiations, operations are expected to begin either this year or in the first quarter of the following year.
Villar’s choice of a Korean partner is strategic, considering their substantial share in the tourism market. According to the Philippines’ Department of Tourism (DOT), Koreans make up the largest group of foreign visitors. In the first half of 2023 alone, the Philippines welcomed 673,841 South Korean visitors, accounting for a significant 25% of the total 2,470,798 foreign tourists.
Comparatively, in 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic, the Philippines recorded a total of 1,989,322 arrivals from South Koreans, comprising 24% of the 8,188,477 international arrivals for that year.
The initial phase of this ambitious project involves transforming the Vista Mall Global South shopping mall in Las Piñas into a casino. This satellite casino will be followed by two more gaming projects in the area. Villar envisions expanding the gaming ventures within the larger Villar City development, spanning 3,500 hectares across 15 cities and municipalities in Metro Manila’s southern region and nearby provinces. This expansive vision includes the development of an indoor arena, theme park, golf course, residential areas, commercial centers, hotels, and office buildings, although the realization of these plans may take several decades.
Despite the challenges posed by the entry and exit of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators, Villar remains optimistic about the potential of the property sector. He believes that the Philippines is still in the early stages of development, with immense room for growth.
The gaming sector in the Philippines aims to double its gross gaming revenue by 2028. Alejandro Tengco, Chairman and CEO of PAGCOR (Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation), announces that several new casino projects, collectively worth around $3 billion, are currently in the pipeline. These ventures are strategically positioned to strengthen the nation’s thriving gaming sector, especially in anticipation of competition from countries like Japan and Thailand.
Tengco foresees significant annual growth in the gaming industry and predicts a potential record-breaking gross gaming revenue (GGR) within the next five years. His estimates suggest that GGR could reach an impressive range of $7.9 to $8.8 billion (450 billion to 500 billion pesos).