Pagcor to shut down airport casino in July

State-owned Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. announced Tuesday it will shut down the operation of its largest casino near the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Parañaque City.

Pagcor chairman and chief executive Cristino Naguiat said Airport Casino Filipino-Parañaque would be closed by July this year, because of its large operating expenses.  The gaming license of the Parañaque branch, which has about 800 employees, will expire in July.

Airport Casino Filipino is considered the largest government-owned casino in terms of size, with 10,000 square meters.

Naguiat said Airport Casino Filipino had been incurring losses over the years.

“I really do not want to close a casino. But for us not to leave that location, there should be a development in that area.  There’s just no growth there,” Naguiat said.

Airport Casino Filipino also competes with large private casinos, such as the Resorts World and Solaire in the Pagcor Entertainment City project.

Naguiat said while Airport Casino Filipino was making at least P180 million a month, it was not enough to cover its large operating expenses.

“Rent alone is P23 million every month,” he said.

Naguiat said Pagcor was preparing assistance for the affected employees, although many of them had already left.

“It will not be a problem for us, because at an average there were 50 employees, every month, who either resign or retire,” Naguiat said.

“Some of them will be absorbed by other casinos,” he added.

Pagcor owns 23 casinos across the country. “Our biggest, in terms of earnings, is the one in Cebu,” he said.

Pagcor closed the casino located at the Heritage Hotel in Pasay City last year

Pagcor posted P40.52 billion in earnings in 2013, lower than P40.8 billion recorded in 2012.  Net revenues in 2013 amounted to P3.09 billion, or P293 million more than P2.8 billion in 2012.

Operating expenses fell by almost P1 billion, after closing the Heritage Hotel branch and other cost-cutting measures were put in place.

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