Ocier opposes development of new casinos outside Entertainment City
Businessman Willy Ocier has frowned on the reported plan by Bilyonaryo Enrique K. Razon’s Bloomberry Resorts Corp. to build a casino in Quezon City, saying such a move could prevent Pagcor’s Entertainment City in Manila from maximizing its full potential, and negatively affect the profitability of Entertainment City gaming licensees
Ocier, vice-chair of Belle Corp., said allowing the proliferation of casinos across Metro Manila could jeopardize Pagcor’s goal of turning Enertainment City into Asia’s next gambling mecca.
He said his group could invoke the “level playing field provision” in its license should Bloomberry decide to push through with its planned casino outside Entertainment City. Belle is one of four groups issued a license to operate a casino in Entertainment City.
Each licensee is required to invest at least $1 billion to put up an integrated casino resort within the 100-hectare Entertainment City. It is also required to build a minimum of 250,000 square meters of floor area and complete 800 hotel rooms with an average hotel room area of 40 sqm.
“If you ask me there shouldn’t be more expansion outside Entertaintment City. We’ve put in a billion dollars in this thing. If the government allows small casinos here, there, everywhere, it defeats the purpose of having an integrated casino hub,” Ocier said.
Ocier also cited the model in China, where the casino gaming business is concentrated in Macau alone.
“In the Philippines, it should be like that. All the operations must be in the Entertainment City only. It defeats the purpose why we’re here as an integrated casino spending a billion US dollars… Pagcor should should just direct all the traffic towards the Entertainment City because that is where the infrastructure is concentrated…That’s the way it should be. I don’t mind competing in that kind of environment that we are all in this same area. Anyway people would jump from one casino to another,” he said.
He likewise noted Nevada’s’ shrinking gaming revenue base owing to increased competition after the government allowed Indian tribes to operate Las Vegas-style casinos.