CHAIRMAN AND CEO
Hann Philippines Inc
POWER SCORE: 669
POSITION LAST YEAR: NIL
CLAIMS TO FAME
- Driving force behind Clark Freeport Zone’s emergence as a world-class gaming destination
KOREAN-BORN Daesik Han had no gaming experience when he first visited Clark – the isolated Pampanga township best known as the former Philippines base of the US Air Force – back in 2005. But he could see potential, opening his first hotel, Widus, in the area in 2008 on the anticipation that, one day in the future, the airport would be revived and transport connections with Manila brought up to scratch.
Fast forward 15 years and Han’s vision is rapidly becoming reality. From a modest 24 tables and 150 slot machines when Widus opened its original casino back in 2009, his latest expansion project – which has seen Widus Hotel & Casino rebrand as Hann Casino Resort – launched earlier this year with 147 tables and 868 machines. All told, the Hann expansion covers 130,000 square meters including 380 hotel rooms across 19 storeys of the Philippines’ first ever Swissôtel, specialty dining options, retail outlets, a swimming pool, an executive lounge and event venues such as a ballroom and function rooms – not dissimilar to the spectacular integrated resorts that comprise Manila’s Entertainment City.
Han’s lead is being followed across Clark via the likes of fellow casino resorts Royce – which is close to launching its own expansion project – D’Heights and Midori.
But he isn’t finished yet, with plans to develop three golf courses and four hotels on 450 hectares of land in New Clark City – part of a vision to transform Clark into a unique gaming and golfing destination.
“The idea is that if we are thinking about VIP players and if they are serious golfers, then 10% of them will look for [something like] this,” Han told IAG in a recent interview.
“They’re going to be very happy to look for an IR where they can enjoy themselves and play golf. In five years’ time there will be quite a lot more golf courses, and this is going to be a golfing destination.”
For the full list of 2022 Asian Gaming Power 50 winners, click here.