The person ranked second on Forbes’ “Philippines’ 50 Richest 2023” plans to have two casinos in a giant real estate scheme he is developing in that nation.
The country’s latest gaming projects, announced by Manuel Villar, are for a 3,500-hectare (8,649-acre) venture called Villar City in Metro Manila. At least one of them will have a yet-to-be-identified South Korean partner, local media reported this week.
Mr Villar did not name the South Korean casino partner but was reported as saying talks had been extensive and a deal completed.
A South Korean partner had been selected given the contribution of that market to Philippine tourism. South Koreans were the top source of foreign visitors to the Philippines in the first seven months this year, accounting for a quarter of all arrivals, according to data from the Department of Tourism.
Mr Villar told reporters that his business empire planned a more than US$1-billion casino scheme within the 80-hectare Vista Mall Global South shopping project at Las Piñas, in the southwest portion of the National Capital Region (pictured). Vista Mall Global South is within Villar City.
He added that the second casino, also to be located at Las Piñas, would be much larger than the one at Vista Mall Global South. No further detail was provided.
Mr Villar has according to Forbes a net worth of US$9.7 billion, just behind existing Philippine casino investors the Sy siblings, and just ahead of Enrique Razon, the ports entrepreneur who also heads casino business Bloomberry Resorts Corp.
The master plan for Villar City is said to include a central business district, a theme park, and a university zone, as well as two casinos.
Villar City spans 15 communities: Taguig, Las Pinas, Paranaque, Muntinlupa, Bacoor, Dasmarinas, Imus, San Pedro, General Mariano Alvarez, Silang, General Trias, Tanza, Trece Martires, Carmona, and Tagaytay.
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