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Casino Tourism – Why the Philippines is Riding this Gaming Trend

By Two Monkeys Travel - Contributor April 28th, 2022 Posted in Travel Blog No comments

Casino tourism is an excellent idea for all individuals who enjoy the business of gambling, and one of the best casino destinations must be the Philippines. Land-based casinos are extremely popular hubs for individuals across the globe. Whether you are striving to win big or just want to enjoy some casual
gambling fun, casinos can help cure bored and even add some bucks to your budget.

Casino Tourism Philippines 03
Photo by GregMontani

While online casinos have a strong presence in the overall gambling industry, the fasciation surrounding land-based casinos can never die down. There is something special about setting your foot in a brick-and-mortar casino buzzing with hundreds of different games. The overall allure of land-based gaming is something no casino player can dismiss.

This love for physical gambling venues has been one of the major driving forces behind the growth of casino tourism in the Philippines and other countries which have legalized physical casinos. While the Philippines may not be the most popular casino destination globally, it is one of the best hubs for Asian gamblers and others looking for something different and unique. Las Vegas and Macau are probably on every casino tourist’s bucket list, but we should not dismiss the Philippines as an appealing casino destination.

The Philippines and Its Thriving Casino Tourism

Casino Tourism Philippines 02
Photo by Kaysha on Unsplash

While casino tourism may not be the very first thing that comes up to your mind when you think about the Philippines, the country is known as an ideal casino destination for foreigners. Different gambling forms have been present in the country for many centuries. Casino gambling activities were legalized in 1976. This same year, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation was founded. The government established the PAGCRO to monitor and regulate land-based casinos that operate in the country.

There are no laws or regulations that prohibit online casinos from operating in the Philippines. The best Philippines casinos licensed by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation have done all the required steps to maintain the safest online gambling environments. Legal and safe casino sites in the Philippines from this site use the most sophisticated SSL encryption technologies, offer the most reliable payment methods, and promise the most spectacular gaming sessions on all different real money casino games.

While there are many casino sites in the Philippines, the country’s casino tourism is not dominated by Philippines casinos that operate online but those that operate in physical gambling establishments.

Since 1976 when the PACGOR became operational, many different land-based Philippines casinos opened their doors. Metro Manila, dubbed as the most appealing casino destination in the country, has over twenty gambling establishments.

Most of these Philippines casinos are located near the iconic Manila Bay. Most of these are also operated by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation. Casino tourism is also thriving in other country regions, including Cebu City and Angeles City. While online casinos, in general, have a strong
presence in the country’s gambling industry, fully-integrated casino resorts in Manila Metro, Cebu City, and Angeles City have their appeal, and both locals and foreigners are allured by their unique gambling opportunities.

According to this press release by the Philippine Statistics Authority, there were over four thousand establishments in the country operational in the arts, recreation, and entertainment industries. Total revenues collected by these businesses, including Philippines casinos, increased by over 75% to reach a
value of over PhP230 billion. Over 33% of establishments in the art, recreation and entertainment industries are involved in gambling and betting activities.

According to the same press release, employees in the gambling and betting industries account for almost half of the arts, recreation, and entertainment industries’ workforce. With this in mind, there is no wonder why casino tourism is one of the major contributors to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). This is also one of the reasons behind the government’s decision to allow the development of land-based casinos on Boracay Island.

New Casinos to Open Their Doors on the Boracay Island 

Best Islands for Beach Hopping in the Philippines

Online casinos may be more popular than their land-based counterparts, but casino tourism depends on physical gambling establishments. To support its casino tourism, the Filipino government announced that the world-famous Boracay Island would become home to several gambling establishments. Boracay Island, located a short plane ride from Manila, is famous for its pristine beaches.

As of today, there are no gambling venues located on the island, but this may change very soon. In September of 2021, President Rodrigo Duterte and the House of Representatives approved the BIDA’s (Boracay Island Development Authority) bill, which allows the development of casinos on the island. One hundred and ninety-two voters supported the bill, while just seven voted in favor of the opposition.

Commenting on the news, the President said that allowing gambling venues on the island will provide extra revenues the government needs to tackle the negative economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation officials also stated that several casino resorts would be constructed on the island. 

The company in charge is Galaxy Entertainment Group, headquartered in Macau. The Boracay Island Development Authority also plans to create a separate tourism zone on the island and transfer license approvals, investment, and taxation authority to the national government.

The Most Famous Casino Resorts in the Philippines

With numerous casinos operating in Manila Metro and other regions, there is no wonder why this Asian country is one of the most appealing casino destinations in the world. The most famous, most visited fully-integrated casino resorts in the country are:

  • Solaire Resorts and Casino
  • Okada Manila
  • City of Dreams Manila
  • Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino

Solaire Resorts and Casino, located in Entertainment City, opened its doors in March of 2013. The hotel and casino is operated by the Bloomberry Resorts Corporation. The complex is located on a twenty-one acres plot and houses two five-star hotels. The casino area features over one thousand and six hundred slot games and three hundred and sixty table games.

Equally impressive is Okada Manila, which is also located in Entertainment City. Okada Manila opened in December of 2016 and the total construction cost exceeded 250 billion yen. Around 26,410 square meters of the resort is covered by the venue’s casino floor, that as expected houses hundreds of games. Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino opened in January of 1998. 

The complex is famous for the Casino Filipino that is located within the complex. City of Dreams Manila is another world-renowned fully-integrated casino resort in Entertainment City. The grand opening was held in February of 2015. The complex includes 938 hotel rooms in six hotel towers and a massive casino floor with 289 table games and over 1600 slots.

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Written by Two Monkeys Travel - Contributor

Two Monkeys Travel Group – Community Travel Blog is a travel blog and website. We quickly grew into a valuable source of inspiring travel stories, advice, itineraries and travel guides, with the aim of demonstrating how to live a sustainable life of travel, whilst living your own definition of success. If you'd like to contribute and write a guest post, contact us at [email protected]