The Movers Of The Change In Our Lifestyle Landscape
The 'class photo' at the dinner hosted by PAGCOR for the Licensed Casinos.
Front row (l to r): Andrew Tan (Travellers International Hotel Group, Inc), Lawrence Ho (Melco International), Enrique Razon (Bloomberry Resorts & Hotels, Inc.), Alfredo Lim (President & COO, PAGCOR), Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, President Rodrigo Duterte, Andrea Domingo (Chairman & CEO, PAGCOR), Cong. Gustavo Tambunting (Chairman, House Committee on Games & Amusement), Daesik Han (Widus International Leisure Inc.), Willie Ocier (Belle Corporation), Dr. Irineo Alvaro, Jr. (BB International Leisure & Resort Development Corp.), Rodolfo Pineda (Eight Integrated Development Corp.).
Back row (l to r): Raymundo Escalona (Udenna Development Corp.), Jose Angel Suiero (Udenna Development Corp.), Lance Gokongwei (Universal Hotels & Resorts), Frederick Go (Universal Hotels & Resorts), Wilfredo Placido (Clark Global City Corp.), Justin Xiao (Millenium Pan-Asia Hotel & Resort Inc.), Lee Shin Kun (Donggwang Clark Corp.), Dennis Uy (Udenna Development Corp.), Hajime Tokuda (Tiger Resort Leisure & Entertainment Inc.), Kenji Sugiyama (Tiger Resort Leisure & Entertainment Inc.), Justice Manuel Lazaro (Tiger Resort Leisure & Entertainment Inc).
You may look at these pictures of the owners and top management of the Licensed Casinos here in the Philippines with President Rodrigo Duterte, the PAGCOR Chairperson Andrea Domingo & PAGCOR President Alfredo Lim, and think "I'm not into gaming or gambling, so the photo has nothing to do with me." Well, think again, as these are the people who have created the Integrated Resorts & Casinos here in our country, and these establishments have slowly become the alternative to our Malls as the center of our constantly changing lifestyle habits. Rather than just looking at upscale gamblers & gamers as their markets, they've developed something unique that rivals the Macau & Singapore Resort Casinos as places where we also shop, dine, entertain, and stay over.
By incorporating quality hotel rooms, fine dining establishments, live theater & entertainment, cinemas, art galleries, clubs, and luxury retail stores into their premises, they've created multi-dimensional Lifestyle centers that to the public eye, have Gaming as just one of the elements of the scenario. Sure, they've not supplanted the Malls as the go-to place to meet up, congregate, or hang out; but for a discriminating niche, they have become a viable alternative, and this even includes being a destination for that traditional Sunday family outing.
Think about it, you may never have played the slot machines or sat at their baccarat tables, but have you ever brought your kids to City of Dreams' DreamPlay theme park? Watched a show at the Resorts World Theater of the Performing Arts? Or spent money at the new Louis Vuitton & Prada shops at Solaire, or caught a show at their Solaire Theater? Or went clubbing at Cove, Okada, or were mesmerized by their Fountain's Water Show? Or visited Thunderbird at Poro Point or Binangonan? Had a weekend at Clark and stayed at Widus or Royce? Or had a memorable dinner at any of the fine dining establishments of the aforementioned Resorts? There are a myriad of ways by which these Integrated Resort Casinos have insinuated themselves into our Lifestyle choices.
In gentlemanly fashion, President Duterte stands to assist PAGCOR Chairwoman Andrea Domingo, as she joins PAGCOR President Alfredo Lim, Enrique Razon, and Exec. Sec. Medialdea.
At a recent Cocktails & Dinner hosted by PAGCOR held at Manila Hotel to celebrate the contribution made by these Licensed Casinos to our Economy and Nation-Building, President Duterte himself thanked these businessman, encouraging their expansion while also bluntly warning them that "They must do business peacefully, and avoid graft & corruption, whether you are the giver or the receiver." These dozen or so enterprises represent Revenues via Licensing Fees for PAGCOR of P19.27 billion. So if these are what they pay yearly in Licensing Fees, you can just imagine the kind of Revenue and Sales they generate as part of their Operations.
When granted a License by PAGCOR, they each have to set up a Cultural Heritage Foundation to fund CSR programs related to education infrastructure, health facilities, environmental preservation, and restoration of cultural heritage. It's here that they directly have a hand in Nation-Building, and are given an opportunity to substantively make their opportunity to do business here also worthwhile to us, from a Big Picture perspective. As a result, school buildings, computer laboratories, a PMA barracks, drug rehabilitation centers, and hospitals have been built and 'gifted' to communities that need them.
So while the road to these establishments may be seemingly paved in gold; they are also finding ways to 'give back'. And while the backbone of their existence certainly is Gaming, they've all have to come up with offerings that have converted them to beacons of Lifestyle, glimpses of Retail Paradise, and havens of Heavenly Dining.