There has been ongoing dispute among South-East Asian nations about territorial rights to South China Sea waters. One issue relates to huge oil and gas reserves the seabed contains. Now, the dispute has been extended to fishing rights. In the most recent face-off, the two parties involved are the Chinese giant and a lesser rival, the Philippines.
Who would think that conflict over fisheries would hurt casino industry in the region? But, it is. After the conflict started, China has advised its nationals not to travel to the Philippines. This has resulted in suspension of some flights and packaged tours.
Since Philippine gambling laws are permissive of casinos, the Filipino gambling resorts attract many players. Gambling tourists have been flying to Manila and other locations to play. Visitors from Hong Kong and Taiwan are also among the casino clients.
Currently, the numbers are down. Especially, since some low cost carriers suspended operations due to the fishing conflict. As of now, both sides are negotiating and it is expected the normal trade relations will resume soon. In any case, until the issues settle, Macau is open, and growing fast.
Meanwhile, online casinos in Philippines attract many gamblers, and these are controlled by state’s gambling monopoly, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Although, there are foreign sites as well.)
Still, the growing internet casino business is eating revenues at the expense of gambling monopolies all over the world. To strike back, land-based casinos offer gambling resorts which include other entertainment in addition to betting.