Ultra bilyonaryo Manny Villar has his the jackpot after putting out all the stops to help Rodrigo Duterte win the presidency six years ago.
A Babbler confirmed the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. has granted Villar a license to operate a casino before the end of the Duterte administration.
Pagcor resumed the processing of new casino applicants in August 2021 or three years after Duterte imposed the ban to prevent overcrowding in the gaming industry.
The casino license is on top of the National Telecommunication Commission handing out the much coveted Channel 2 frequency of ABS-CBN Broadcasting to Villar’s Advanced Media Broadcasting System Inc. in January 2022.
In an interview with Forbes, Villar, who planned to merge his established property empire with his budding entertainment business just like Walt Disney Co., revealed his plan to build a casino resort in a theme park on an 80-hectare site in Las Pinas and Paranaque near the country’s main international airport.
The losing 2010 presidential candidate , whose son Mark served as Public Works Secretary for the entire term of Duterte, is among the major political and financial backers of Duterte who helped the obscure, Mindanao-based candidate score the biggest election upset in the country’s history.
Villar’s wealth grew exponentially from $1.6 billion in 2016 to $8.3 billion in 2022. He became the richest Filipino in 2019.