MANILA, Philippines – This is how the exclusive $6,000-a-night (est. P258,000) hotel suite in Wynn Macau looks like.
This video of the 7,000-square-feet suite reserved for “high rollers” at the casino-resort was confirmed to Rappler by a representative of Wynn as the same room where Cristino Naguiat Jr, the head of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor), stayed for 4 nights in September 2010.
Naguiat was with his wife, kids and nanny on 4 of the 5 days he spent in Wynn Macau where the bill reached over $50,000 (est. over P2.15 million).
Japanese billionaire Kazuo Okada hosted him and around 13 Filipinos whose shopping, gaming and other incidentals were reportedly charged to the corporate account.
Okada holds a nearly 20% in Las Vegas-based Wynn Resorts Ltd. but his American business partner has turned against him after he pursued a $2.5 million investment in the Bagong Nayong Pilipino – Entertainment City, a soon-to-rise Las Vegas-style casino entertainment complex in a portion of the reclaimed area in Manila Bay.
Okada and Steve Wynn have filed court cases against each other. The recent one – Wynn vs. Okada – is anchored on the findings of a commissioned one-year work of an ex-Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) director.
The FBI director documented several cash payments and gifts to Pagcor officials and their relatives over a 3-year-period. These payments, totalling over $110,000, are now the basis of the Wynn vs Okada suit that cites violations of anti-bribery law applicable to US firms doing business overseas.
Naguiat has admitted staying at the hotel, but stressed that he wasn’t aware of the cost of the room. (Online reservation at Wynn Macau’s website showed that $3,500-a-night room (around P150,000 per night) is their most expensive.)
The Philippine regulator also said that he paid for the airfare of his family and that they simply shared his room.
Malacanang spokesperson Edwin Lacierda has said that President Aquino, an Ateneo University classmate and friend of Naguiat, understood that there was no conflict-of-interest involved when Naguiat accepted the freebies since these are all part of “standard industry practice.”
Lacierda said Naguiat was in Macau as a casino operator and not a regulator, highlighting the double and conflicting roles of Pagcor. – Rappler.com