BY Francis Earl A. Cueto, Reporter
There is no new casino operating at the Metrowalk mall in Ortigas,
Pasig City, Mayor Vicente Eusebio said on Sunday, citing a report by
Eusebio also reiterated his
administration’s stand against all forms of gambling but said the
report on the alleged casino could be part of a political smear
drive by his rivals.
The mayor vowed to block the
entry of gambling and denied issuing any permit for a casino or any
gaming den at the Metrowalk.
Eusebio said he ordered cops to
investigate media reports.
The police, he said, inspected
the entire Metrowalk and found no casino operating in the area.
Eusebio added that he has a
long-standing order to the Business Permit and Licensing Office to
scrutinize carefully business entities applying for business
In June last year, Eusebio
blocked the entry of Small Town Lottery under the supervision of the
Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.
The mayor, noting the influx of
legitimate business investors, said there is no need for the local
government to flirt with gambling investors.
“Since the beginning of my
administration, I have remained steadfast and firm with my moral
obligation not to allow gambling like jueteng and other vices in
my city and to this, I am committed,” Eusebio stressed.
It was Barangay Kapasigan Pasig
Councilor Victorino Obina that exposed the operation of the casino.
The councilor claimed casino operations started Wednesday last week
at a two-story building near the Arellano’s Wine.
He described it as a
“first-class” operation that would rival that of the
establishment in the James Bond flick, “Casino Royale” which
carries high roller stake betting or huge betting are involved.
He refused to name the maintainer
of the casino but described him as a close relative of an
influential politician with known ties to gambling.
Efforts to get the side of
Ricardo Lim, general manager of the Metrowalk mall, remain futile as
he was reportedly refused to face the media to shed light on the
alleged illegal operation of the casino. Not even Eusebio could
issue an official statement about the operation of the casino.
The 5,000-sqm Metrowalk in
Pasig is part of the surrendered assets of Marcos crony Jose Campos.
Metrowalk, a commercial and
leisure hub, is part of an 18.4-hectare expanse in the heart of the
metropolis, almost as big as Eastwood City in Libis, and twice the
size of Greenbelt and SM Megamall.