Philippines are set to become the next gambling Mecca, catching up with both Macau and Singapore, and possibly even overtaking them Asian gaming insiders forecast. Favorable Philippine gambling laws are the primary reason why the country is so attractive, as well as tropical weather and a large percentage of English speakers. Numerous land-based and online casinos in Philippines are already in planning or early developmental stages.
Alliance Global Group Inc. (AGI) also attributes factors including large population and a reliable economy to the growth of the gaming sector. Kingson Sian, CEO of AGI, told online gambling news in Philippines: “In time, we can be the number three in the region, beating even Malaysia. Their population is only 20 million. The Philippines has close to 100 million”.
The group is already running Resorts World Manila jointly with Genting Malaysia. Even though sixty percent of guests are from Philippines, Sian is adamant that: “Over time, foreigners from Korea, China and Malaysia will overtake locals.”
Currently both land-based and online casinos in Philippines are allowed to operate in the country. Online gaming sites operating from the Cagayan region are only open to foreigners. As for the rest of the country – it’s covered by sites run by the government controlled Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).
The latest gambling attraction in the Philippines is the new Entertainment City, devised by PAGCOR and recently approved by the government. Entertainment City is located in Manila Bay, and AGI has already been approved and licensed to operate one of the 4 casinos in the complex. The other three licensees are held by the Japanese Aruze Group, Belle Group and Bloomberry Resorts.
The international gaming powerhouses are beginning to glance towards Philippines with growing enthusiasm. Yet only the future will show if Philippines can achieve the same unprecedented growth rate, as we’ve seen with Macau and Singapore. All the ingredients are there and insiders can’t see anything standing in the way of Philippines becoming Asia’s next gambling mecca.