Pagcor to shut down Airport Casino Filipino

Posted at 02/25/2014 10:02 AM | Updated as of 02/25/2014 10:04 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Another casino run by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) is being shuttered.

Pagcor chairman and CEO Cristino Naguiat Jr. said it will not renew the license for the Airport Casino Filipino, which expires in July.

He said the casino, which is located near the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Parañaque City, has been operating at a loss due to the big amount it has to remit to state coffers every month.

Naguiat said the Airport Casino Filipino earns P180 million in revenues a month, but half is automatically withheld by the Bureau of Treasury. The amount represents the government's share in gaming income.

"Of that P180 million, the Treasury gets P90 million, another P23 million is set aside to pay for the lease of that property, plus salary for more or less 800 employees, we also pay for the food for our players and of course, electricity and other fees," he said.

Naguiat also noted that the casino's proximity to Entertainment City has affected its operations. Entertainment City, where Solaire is located, is expected to become the country's gaming hub in the next few years as more casinos open.

Employees working at the Airport Casino will be transferred to other state-owned casinos at the Hyatt Hotel Manila and Pavilion Hotel, Naguiat said.

"Every month, we process about 50 applications for retirement or early retirement, so there are plenty of job opportunities within Pagcor for about 800 affected employees of Airport Casino Filipino," he said.

With the closure of Airport Casino Filipino, Pagcor will have 11 agency-run Casino Filipino facilities and four licensed casinos.

The Airport Casino Filipino will be the second agency-run casino to be shuttered, after the casino at Heritage Hotel Manila was closed in July 2013.