MANILA, Philippines – Despite the recent crackdown on online gambling, foreign and local investors are still eyeing the Philippines as a worthy place for investing in the gaming industry.

According to some industry players, the Philippine-China alliance makes it easier for Chinese investors to come to the country, which will give them the opportunity to invest in the gaming industry.

Duterte’s known ally, Dennis Uy, the founder of Phoenix Petroleum in Davao, already bought a license to Philippines Amusement and Gaming Corp. to construct Lapu-Lapu Leisure Mactan which is a 300 million-dollar worth of casino in Cebu. This is the first time a casino like this will be built outside Manila.

Uy believes that this casino resort will give a lot of opportunities to the locals which will then boost the economy of the place. It aims to help Central Visayas to grow its economy by giving the people jobs and a lot of opportunities for small business, which are included in the community development platforms of the government.

Meanwhile, Joseph Calata, the chairman of Calata Corp, is now paving the construction of the 1.3 billion-dollar casino project, and now on talks with his new partner after the first investor backed out. The casino will also be built in Cebu.

Calata told reporters that although some delays happened due to the unprecedented back out of his original partner, the project will still push through. He said that instead of launching it last January, it would be just rescheduled sometime this year.

On August 2016, Calata declared that the company has joined Sino-America Gaming Investment Group LLC and Macau Resources Group Ltd. in creating REIT or real estate and invest trust for Mactan Leisure City in Cebu.

The casino resort will have an entertainment complex, a casino, a yacht club, three hotels, and a commercial component.

According to the source, a foreign investor is now collaborating with a local businessperson to venture in the Philippine gaming industry.

Last month, a gaming and entertainment project, Winford Hotel and Casino, formally opened in Sta. Cruz, Manila. This is a joint venture between Hong Kong Strategic Investors and Reyno’s Manila Jockey Club – MJC Investments Corp.

A 20-billion dollar worth casino resort is also being built in Quezon City. This is the second resort owned by Enrique Razon’s Solaire Resort and Casino who is the owner of Entertainment City.

According to Razon, since the last year’s visit of President Duterte to China, which yields 24 billion dollars of investment securities, Chinese players continue to come in the Philippines.

Meanwhile, in Pampanga, a 400 million dollar Clark SunValley Resorts and Country Club projects in Clark Freeport Zone is being built by the South Korean construction firm, Donggwanf Construction Co. Ltd.

Casinos are not the only emerging area in the gaming sector, small time lotteries operated by Philippines Charity Sweepstakes Office or PCSO are also expanding.

According to Charlie “Atong” Ang, a famous gaming tycoon, government official, PMA’s Sandigan Class 1982, and other personalities linked with the government like Ogie Aguirre, are eyeing for the franchise of small time lottery in Camarines Norte, Albay, and Pangasinan. But Aguire said that his brother is not looking to apply for a small time lottery license.

Jose Jorge Corpuz, a PCSO chairman who is also an affiliate of PMA Sandigan Class 1982, declared the growth of STL industry to 56 areas in the country from the current 18.


  1. A source inside CALATA Corp., who asked not to be identified for lack of legitimacy to communicate, said the CASINO project in Mactan Cebu is on the right track with a new group of foreign investors.


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