A number of entrepreneurs with casino interests feature in the top-10 of the latest “Philippines’ 50 Richest” list, compiled by Forbes.
They owe their ranking not only to the gambling sector, but also to diversified investments, with some activities pursued via family businesses for several generations, according to the updated list published on Thursday.
In top spot, with an estimated combined net worth of US$16.6 billion, are six children of Henry Sy, a tycoon who died in January 2019. They are: Teresita, Elizabeth, Henry Jr, Hans, Herbert, and Harley.
Their inherited riches are comprised largely of stakes held in the family-founded, publicly-traded SM Investments Corp – a conglomerate focused on shopping malls and real estate – and SM Prime Holdings Inc, a real estate developer.
The family-founded Belle Corp is an investor in gaming, including in the City of Dreams Manila casino resort in the Philippine capital, a venue that is managed by a unit of casino group Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd.
Entrepreneurs on Forbes’ “Philippines’ 50 Richest” saw their collective wealth rise 30 percent, to US$79 billion, even as the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted the country’s economy. Of those listed this time, more than half saw their respective net worth recover year-on-year, with four even adding over US$1 billion each, to their net worth.
The Sy siblings were the biggest gainers in U.S.-dollar terms, with their wealth up by US$2.7 billion.
Enrique Razon remained in third place in the latest edition of the list, with a net worth of US$5.8 billion, down from US$4.3 billion previously.
Mr Razon chairs Philippines-listed Bloomberry Resorts Corp, which developed and operates the Solaire Resort and Casino, in Entertainment City, Manila. Mr Razon’s family originally made its money in port operations, a business founded by his grandfather at the start of the 20th century. Mr Razon now runs International Container Terminal Services, said to be the country’s leading cargo terminal operator.
Andrew Tan (pictured) also saw his estimated net worth jump by US$300 million, to US$2.6 billion, but that was not enough prevent him from falling two places, to 8th spot on Forbes’ rundown.
His Alliance Global Group Inc has a partnership with Hong Kong-listed cruise ship operator Genting Hong Kong Ltd. Together they control Travellers International Hotel Group Inc, the operator of the Resorts World Manila casino resort.
Mr Tan is also to be allowed to revive a casino project for the holiday island of Boracay, after President Rodrigo Duterte recently lifted a ban on such business in that destination.
Mr Tan’s empire is involved – via one of its units – in the development of a casino resort at Westside City, Manila, another venue in the Entertainment City zone. The project additionally involves Hong Kong-listed Suncity Group Holdings, the latter controlled by Macau casino junket boss Alvin Chau Cheok Wa.
In 27th position on this year’s list, with an estimated US$710 million, is Dennis Uy, founder of Udenna Corp, a conglomerate with interests spanning petroleum, oil and gas, shipping, logistics, real estate, and education. It is also developing – via a related entity – sites with a view to having gaming business.
Last month, PH Resorts Group Holdings Inc, a listed arm of Udenna, said the launch of the first phase of its upcoming Emerald Bay casino resort at Mactan, Cebu, would be completed “in the third quarter of 2022.”
Sep 21, 2021A Macau government proposal that its approval should be required before local casino operators could distribute dividends to shareholders came as a “surprise”, management at Macau licensee SJM...
”The Macau government is not aiming to trivialise or drive out the junket sector, but to regulate the sector so that it would not hurt Macau’s reputation”
Alvin Chau Cheok Wa
Chief executive of privately-held VIP junket business Suncity Group