Aquino opens mega casino in bid to join gaming elite


President Beningo “Noynoy” Aquino III lead the opening ceremonies of the Solaire Resort & Casino in Parañaque City Saturday, March 16, 2013. Joining Aquino were (from L-R) Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Enrique Razon Jr., PAGCOR Chairman Cristino Naguiat Jr., Paranaque Mayor Florencio Bernabe Jr. RICHARD A. REYES

MANILA, Philippines — President Benigno Aquino III opened a giant $1.2 billion casino on Saturday to kick off the Philippines’ high-stakes bid to join the likes of Macau and Las Vegas in an elite group of gaming destinations.

Solaire Manila Resorts is the first of four huge gaming venues set to rise on reclaimed land in Manila Bay as part of a complex named “Entertainment City” that officials hope will draw millions of newly well-off Asian visitors.

“Macau and Singapore are always competing for bigger pieces of this industry’s very lucrative pie. Your presence in the country is proof positive that… above all else, the Philippines works,” the Filipino leader said in a speech to Entertainment City investors and others guests.

Aquino and billionaire Philippine port king Enrique Razon, who controls Solaire, officially opened the integrated resort after a colourful ceremony featuring dancers pirouetting on ropes suspended from the ceiling.

Run by Las Vegas-based Global Gaming Asset Management, Solaire has 300 gaming tables and 1,200 slot machines on a floor the size of four football pitches.

The building also has 500 hotel rooms and 2,000 parking slots.

Another wing is being built to add 300 all-suite hotel rooms, 30-40 high-end shops and a theatre for travelling Broadway shows as well as local and foreign lounge acts.

“What Solaire brings is an entertainment and gaming experience that doesn’t exist in the Philippines today,” its American chief operating officer Michael French told Agence France-Presse in an interview earlier this week.

“The gaming experience here will probably be as good, if not even better, than what they (customers) can achieve in Las Vegas.”

Preparations are underway for the launch of the three other big-ticket casinos, which all involve major foreign backers.

The Belle Grande — a joint venture with the Philippines’ richest man, Henry Sy, Australian billionaire James Packer and Macau tycoon Lawrence Ho — is scheduled to open next year.

Japanese gambling magnate Kazuo Okada and Malaysia’s Genting Group are involved in the other two, each in partnership with local Chinese-Filipino tycoons. Both are expected to open between 2015 and 2017.

Cristino Naguiat, head of state regulator Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp, told AFP he expects Solaire to double Philippine gaming revenues this year to $2 billion.

When all four are open, he said Entertainment City should boost the country’s annual gaming revenues up to $10 billion and help hit the government target of 10 million tourists annually, from just over four million last year.

The gaming turnover at present comes from 13 relatively small casinos around the country run by the government and a bigger one in Manila run by Genting and a Filipino tycoon that opened in 2009.

While Macau counts $38 billion in annual revenues, Naguiat is confident the Philippines will eventually have one of the biggest gambling industries in the world, comparing it with the Las Vegas strip’s roughly $6-billion turnover.

“We will beat Las Vegas. I’m pretty sure of that,” Naguiat said.

Ho, who flew to Manila Friday on the eve of the Solaire launch, said Asia is the future of the world’s gaming industry and projects Philippine gaming revenues to grow to $3 billion by 2015.

“If you project that and extrapolate it even further down the road, the Philippines in five, six years could be effectively the size of Las Vegas or Singapore,” he said.

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  • Lapu Lapu

    Generate revenue through honest to goodness business.
    Gambling is sin. It destroys families, businesses and encourage crime.
    Do we need to be known as a sin city?

  • koolkid_inthehouse

    Signal of more looting of Philippine treasury so that corrupt government officials can afford to enjoy the casino.
    I bet you can’t go in there in shorts and with P1,000 in your pocket. This casino is prejudice to local Filipinos. Can somebody let me know if they got in and enjoy the table.

  • mxsclxmxn

    Relax. Be greedy. Be selfish – if these help you get ahead. Win at any cost. Enjoy your expensive Freemason diamond ring and other symbols, pay your hefty dues on time, and follow the Masonic – path. And you too will be successful – because there is no Hell, and no higher authority other than Lucifer; who is misunderstood.

    Once Masons progress to the higher degrees and they finally believe the ‘Masonic lie”; and they will ‘understand’ that the Grand Architect of the Universe is not the God of the Old or New Testaments, but instead is the perfect dues paying Mason in good standing, who like the statue example above, they chipped away at, and finally shed needless ‘layers’ from both their old useless religion, and from loyalties outside of Masonry, which all along were what concealed them from their own personal true image, as the one and only real God.

  • mxsclxmxn

    Freemasonry is a hidden fraternal order, and defined by them as a system of morality. The first three steps are the Blue Lodge. The first degree is called Entered Apprentice. The second degree is called Fellow Craft. The Third degree is called Master Mason. Most men only go to the third degree, but if one chooses, he may advance either through the York Rite or the Scottish Rite. The Scottish Rite has thirty-two degrees. In each degree, the Mason pledges himself to a different Egyptian deity. There is a thirty-third degree that is largely honorary, but the thirty-two degrees give you access to becoming a Shriner. As a Shriner you will place your hand on the pagan Muslim Qur’an (Koran) and pledge yourself to the pagan “god” Allah; who by the way lies that Jesus did not even die on a cross, and that God has no Son. This pagan ‘Allah’ never once shows that it knows the real name of God (Jesus/Yeshua/Yahweh/I am).

  • mxsclxmxn

    Grand Conspiracy Free Masonry now in Philippine Bill!

    Satan’s Synagogue as per Pope Clement XII year 1738

    In the P100 BILL series 2012 Serial # ZK188477 has a logo of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons. Freemasonry has its goal of destroying Christendom and replacing it with man-centered government and Satanic religion filled with errors.

    How can this logo of a satanic group be allowed to print in the monetary instrument of the country with the constitution believing in a God asking for HIS Divine Providence?

    In Freemasonry the god of the secret societies is covertly substituted for the One True God. This false god is identified in the Masonic lodges as “the Great Architect.”

    Since Freemasonry has attempted so strenuously to claim that they are just a “good ole boy” fraternity that does good works and has a good time, most people will be shocked to learn the bitter truth behind that facade. Freemasonry certainly isn’t “free”. It could cost you your soul.

    Once Masons progress to the higher degrees and they finally believe the ‘Masonic lie”; and they will ‘understand’ that the Grand Architect of the Universe is not the God of the Old or New Testaments, but instead is the perfect dues paying Mason in good standing, who like the statue example above, they chipped away at, and finally shed needless ‘layers’ from both their old useless religion, and from loyalties outside of Masonry, which all along were what concealed them from their own personal true image, as the one and only real God.

    Freemasonry is one of many apostate religions dedicated to the destruction of traditional Judaism and Christianity. Those who aspire to grow in their closeness to Jesus Christ, and to increase their discernment in these days, would do well to stay very clear of Freemasonry. Are your loyalties with Jesus Christ or are they with the lodge? Both are diametrically opposed to one another as you will see below.

    Masons have mixed idolatry, paganism, the occult, Gnosticism, Kabala, fertility cults, Satanism, spiritualism, demonology, and put it into a blender and come up with the Masonic religion. It is not of God! It is a false religion; the Harlot of Babylon. Masons say they offer new candidates “the light”. The light they are actually giving is: Lucifer. The Christian Bible says that Satan walks to and fro on this earth masquerading as an “angel of light”, that many might be deceived.

    An insidious byproduct of Freemasonry is to keep husbands and wives out of churches & away from their children and their homes…

    Satan does not need to receive worship to achieve his goals. All he has to do is to keep a man from following Jesus. Satan knows that anyone who does not follow in the teachings of Jesus does not have God. (2 John 9)

    • koolkid_inthehouse

      The US dollar bill has Free Mason symbol. Jose Rizal is Free Mason, Aguinaldo, Pink Lacson and more. This secret society is a self serving supposedly to do good to fellowmen.

  • GustoKoHappyKa

    Hello Chinese Mainland High rollers…gamble your money here..

  • WeAry_Bat

    These lavish casinos look like a gold ring on poor 3rd world pig’s snout. I was tempted to compare them to the stock market because in operation, they are the same, but the stock markets are based on companies.

  • koolkid_inthehouse

    This is where most of the loot from pork barrel will be used. Only government officials can afford to enjoy the spanking brand new casino. Filipinos say goodbye to your money.

  • go88

    ‘In what may be one of history’s more spectacular examples of shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted, China’s new Communist party leadership is trying to stem the torrents of money spilling out of the country, nearly $500 billion last year by one count.

    In the last few weeks police in the gambling enclave of Macau and their mainland colleagues have targeted the so-called junkets that provide illegal credit services and sumptuous VIP private gambling rooms for Chinese high-rollers at the territory’s casinos.

    At least half a dozen people were arrested at the Casinos of Wynn Macau last month in what is being interpreted as one campaign in a crackdown on corruption by new Communist party leader, Xi Jinping.

    In several speeches in recent weeks Xi has warned that corruption among party officials could well bring down the one-party state.

    Corruption, said Xi in his first speech as party leader last month, could “cause the collapse of the party and the fall of the state.”

    Macau, the former Portuguese colony returned to Chinese sovereignty in 1999 whose casinos now generate five times more gambling revenue than the Las Vegas strip, has a long history as a place where Chinese can launder ill-gotten gains and move them to overseas havens.

    The VIP rooms in Macau’s casinos are leased out to the junket operations, which offer high-rollers not only lavish surroundings, high-priced refreshments and female company for their gambling, but also credit facilities designed to avoid China’s limits on exporting currency.’

    GOOD TIMING RAZON !!!! ( GMA’s treasurer and perceived as her most influential crony).

  • Ibo Huele

    So what if there is a new posh casino in the country? It creates jobs, it adds income, it attracts tourists, it’s a plus to the country’s infrastructure and economic climate. If you don’t like it don’t bother. You people saying negative things every time our country has a new development, project, foreign investment etc. in the name of fairness, social justice, and whatnot clearly shows you only want to console your miserable lives.

    Naghahanap ka ba ng karamay kasi walang nangyayari sa buhay mo? Kaya yung mga nangyayari sa paligid mo na di mo kayang abutin at wala kang mapapala sa tingin mo at nagpapayaman lang ng ibang tao ay bibigyan mo ng malisya? Mas mainam ba sayong nakikitang nagrarasyon lang ng resources ang gobyerno sa mga mahihirap? Kung sa tingin mo may marami pang ibang paraan para yumaman, bakit di mo gawan ng paraan?

    Instead na magreklamo ka, gumawa ka ng paraan para ayusin ang buhay mo. Tumulong ka. Kung mawawala tong mga income generating projects, yayaman ka ba? Mawawala ba ang mga corrupt? Hindi. Wag ka na umasa. The world only cares when it needs something from you. Suportahan mo na lang. Pag mas mayaman ang gobyerno di bale na may kurakot pa rin(basta nababawasan naman at napupuna at may effort), mas mataas pa rin ang chances na tataas ang benepisyo ng taong bayan. Hindi mo man directly nararamdaman ang pag unlad (kasi manhid ka) pero meron yan.

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