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Malacañang on Friday said talks between taipan John Gokongwei Jr. and Japanese billionaire Kazuo Okada regarding their possible investment in Entertainment City would boost government revenue and increase the number of visiting tourists for the project.
Negotiations between the two parties over the $5-billion Las Vegas-style gaming complex of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. have begun, Presidential Communications Development Secretary Ramon Carandang confirmed on Friday.
“If there is interest in investing in the Philippines, we certainly welcome this activity and this interest…We support more investors coming into the Philippines,” Carandang said.
Okada is one of the four groups that was able to secure a license of run a casino in Pagcor’s Entertainment City.
“The plans for the Entertainment City will require large amounts of capital, and capital that comes in, the willingness of investors to come in, of course, will help complete or continue those plans,” Carandang added.
Gokongwei’s property arm, Robinson Land Corp., has reportedly offered to run the gaming and retail operations of Okada’s $2 billion Tiger Resorts project.
For its part, Tiger has the right to develop 45 hectares, the biggest among the four licensees, in Entertainment City.
Gokongwei would be joined in the project by another Filipino billionaire, Andrew Tan, whose property group would handle the land development side of Okada’s casino project.
The Aquino administration sees at least a million more tourists annually coming into the country once the Entertainment City is fully operational.
Gaming revenues alone are estimated to hit $10 billion annually once the facility is completed.