CA orders Pagcor to grant license for Waterfront casino

MANILA, Philippines – The Court of Appeals (CA) upheld a Manila court ruling which ordered the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) to issue a provisional license to Waterfront Philippines Incorporated for a casino-hotel.

The CA 6th Division affirmed the August 2017 ruling of Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 173 Presiding Judge Armando Yanga, who said Pagcor must act on Waterfront's application for a license.

Waterfront first filed a petition for mandamus in March 2015, saying it had submitted all requirements – including a $100-million cash deposit – but Pagcor was ignoring its application.

"Considering that no additional documents were further required to be submitted, Waterfront is deemed to have completed the requirements for its project application, which warranted the review and evaluation thereof," said the CA in a 19-page ruling penned by Associate Justice Samuel Gaerlan.

The CA also agreed that Waterfront must receive P100,000 in moral damages and P100,000 in exemplary damages.

The company is planning to build the Grand Waterfront Hotel and Casino at Entertainment City in Parañaque City.

The court noted that Waterfront seeks a license "similar to those granted to Resorts World Manila, City of Dreams, Solaire Resort and Casino, and Okada Manila."

CA Associate Justices Celia Librea Leagogo and Maria Filomena Singh concurred with the ruling. –