Ayala Land won't go into gaming

by Cathy Rose A. Garcia, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Jan 12 2013 07:46 AM | Updated as of Jan 14 2013 12:28 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) is not keen on entering the gaming business, even as its rival property companies are pursuing high-profile projects at Pagcor's Entertainment City in Parañaque.

ALI president Antonino Aquino said the company is more interested in developing integrated mixed-use developments centered on "family entertainment" rather than casinos projects.

ALI's latest project Circuit Makati is touted as an urban entertainment hub, with performing arts venues, events grounds, malls, condominiums and even a skating park.

Aquino said Circuit's focus is entertainment, unlike Entertainment City's focus on gaming.

"Pagcor city will have a gaming focus. We are more focused on family entertainment," he said.

"There are no plans for gaming in so far as Circuit is concerned," he said, adding the company will focus on integrated mixed use developments that it has become known for.

Aquino admitted there are other risks involved in the gaming industry.

"There are other risks involved as far as the industry is concerned. On our side, we have high growth trajectory in this type of business. We have enough on our plate to sustain aggressive growth in the future," he said.

While the company is not interested in the casino business, Aquino admitted they might consider opportunities in the retail aspect of these projects.

"I guess not gaming per se, but there are possibilities in retail not gaming," he said.

Top Philippine property companies are pursuing projects in the government's upcoming gaming hub Entertainment City.

Property magnate Andrew Tan already has a partnership with Malaysia's Genting through Travellers Hotel International for the operations of Resorts World Manila, the first privately owned casino in the country.

Gokongwei-led Robinsons Land Corp. has partnered with Japanese tycoon Kazuo Okada's Universal Entertainment to develop commercial facilities, a budget hotel and residential projects at the Entertainment City.

Tycoon Henry Sy's Belle Corp. also teamed up with Macau casino giant Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd. for an integrated casino resort complex also at Entertainment City.

Pagcor has handed out four licenses to build a casino worth at least $1 billion each at the Entertainment City.