By Krista A. M. Montealegre,
National Correspondent
THE GOTIANUN FAMILY is the latest group to venture into the booming gaming sector after securing a license to build a casino in Pampanga.
In a disclosure to the stock exchange on Thursday, Filinvest Development Corp. (FDC) announced that the holding firm and subsidiary Mimosa Cityscapes, Inc. obtained a provisional license from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., with a plan to pour in a minimum of $200 million to develop an integrated resort within its 201-hectare property in Clark.
FDC submitted the application and the necessary requirements last year before the gaming regulator was ordered by President Rodrigo R. Duterte at the start of the year to stop the issuances of new permits amid fears of oversupply.
“Filinvest Mimosa Plus Leisure City is envisioned to become the lifestyle destination north of Manila. Its enviable location close to Clark International Airport makes it accessible to both domestic and international tourists,” FDC President and CEO Josephine L. Yap was quoted in a statement as saying.
“Now that we have secured the provisional license, we foresee further upsurge in tourist arrivals upon completion of the various project components. It is our intention to work with a leading casino operator who will align with our vision of a premiere destination. Visitors can look forward to Filinvest Mimosa Gaming Estate with its offering of top-notch casinos and boutiques.”
The project will feature a casino, lifestyle mall, five-star hotel and events venue that will rise within the prime mixed-use Mimosa townscape.
The integrated resort also includes the renovation of the existing Quest Hotel, the two championship golf courses and villas.
“It’s a different gaming experience. It is leisure gaming kasi may golf course, more like themed leisure,” Ms. Yap said in a recent interview.
The Gotianun family is joining other high-profile businessmen who have recently ventured into gaming such as John L. Gokongwei, Manuel B. Villar, Jr. and Dennis A. Uy.
Billionaires Henry Sy, Sr., Enrique K. Razon, Jr., and Andrew L. Tan have established their own integrated resorts in Entertainment City, the gaming hub envisioned to rival Las Vegas and Singapore.
“Clark is for central Luzon so it has its own catchment plus the growth of airport and all the developments there will feed into the property,” Ms. Yap said.
Filinvest Mimosa + Leisure City is a joint development of FDC and Filinvest Land, Inc. (FLI) They secured a long-term lease deal with Clark Development Corp. for the property in 2016.
FLI has launched its business park in the townscape and has completed and fully leased out its first office building, with a second building to be completed within the quarter. The company will start the development of a retail strip and first residential building within the quarter and break ground on the mall within the year.
Shares in FDC closed flat at P7.50 apiece on Thursday.