Landing’s Casino Project in the Philippines Cancelled by Duterte

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Rodrigo Duterte, the President of Philippines, has cancelled a $1.5 billion casino project by Landing International Development, according to official reports from the President’s spokesman. The cancellation comes right after the company broke ground earlier this week.

 

According to Harry Roque, the president’s spokesman, the lease contract between a state-run foundation and Landing that was signed in early 2018 had caused some trouble for the Philippines government due to the rent amount being unreasonable.

 

Roque apologized for “bursting people’s bubble” and added that the lease agreement was “grossly disadvantageous to the government.”

 

The announcement was made by Roque at a media briefing, just minutes after Landing managed to strike a deal for a 5th casino in Manila’s Entertainment City, which is spread across 100 hectares of land.

 

Not the first

 

This is the second casino project in the country to be axed by the Duterte administration. In April, the administration went after the Galaxy Entertainment Group’s plan to construct an integrated casino on the island of Boracay, which is also a major tourist spot.  The project was estimated to be worth half a billion dollars. However, a month after the project received the green signal, the government put an end to things, citing environmental concerns.

 

Landing received the license in July, this year, from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., which is a firm owned and operated by the President’s office.

 

Soon after the recent announcement was made, Landing issued a statement mentioning that the integrated resort project was still being pushed through and that the lease contract with the Nayong Pilipino Foundation was still valid.

 

The statement further went on to mention that Landing would consider itself a valid leaseholder until and unless the contract was nullified legally by the courts, implying that it would go ahead with the project.

 

Project details

 

The integrated casino project is said to have included a series of hotels, water parks, gambling areas, and a convention center. The gambling areas were supposed to be home to around 155 tables and 239 electronic tables and slot machines.

 

Commercial operations were expected to begin in the year 2022. However, with the current issue, the commencement date could very well get postponed to a much further date.

 

About the Author

- iGaming & land based specialist reporter for the global gaming market