Megawide backs from Cebu casino project

Megawide Construction decided to drop a plan to build a Cebu casino but will still develop three hotels in the Philippine island.

Philippines.- The casino industry faced trouble in the Philippines as President Rodrigo Duterte criticised the segment. Even as he backed out from his hard rejection, some companies seem to have lost interest in the country.

Such is the case of Megawide Construction Corp, which dropped a plan for a casino on Cebu island. The company will still develop three hotels, local media reports, but won’t include a gaming offering.

Manuel Louie Ferrer, Megawide chief corporate affairs and branding officer, advanced they will develop the first hotel by the end of the year. 

“There is a huge demand for hotel development in Cebu as well as for MICE [meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions] particularly in Mactan,” he told local media.

President’s stance

President Rodrigo Duterte led a campaign against gambling in the Philippines but seems to have given up. During a recent event, he claimed to be “lacking” and just urged people to avoid the segment.

“That gambling-gambling, I will not meddle with it anymore, just do not enter. I cannot control it, really…,” the Manila Times quoted him saying at the PDP-Laban’s miting de avance in Pasig City.

Regarding illegal gambling, he said: “That will be up to you. I am not trying to encourage you… I cannot stop it anyway and I know I am lacking.”

Duterte’s spokesman Salvador S. Panelo said: “Until such time as he makes a formal statement on the matter, I think whatever his former position was, subsists.”

Panelo’s comments were triggered by a Bloomberg interview with Ms Domingo, who stated the moratorium should be partially lifted to get the gaming segment to continue thriving and get benefits for the country. She had stated that she hoped to meet with Duterte to discuss it, but no further news has been revealed yet.

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