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The great success of the casinos in the Philippines

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The great success of the casinos in the Philippines
Written by François Debruge on Monday, April 20, 2015

In the last few years the archipelago of the Philippines has welcomed three huge casino hotels that were inspired by the success of Las Vegas and Macau. The industry of the local gambling is therefore increasing at the moment, although it is aided by the Asian passion for everything that relates to betting. The casinos should generate nearly $80 billion this year in this sector at an international level, if we are to believe the study from the company PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Macao is slowing down

Since 2008, the revenues from the casinos in Macau have exceeded those of the Las Vegas establishments. In 2014, they reached $44 billion against only $6.3 billion in revenues for the city of the US state of Nevada. Las Vegas even gets competition from Singapore in which both complexes have earned around $6 billion. Despite the impressive numbers generated in Macao, which is the only Chinese territory where gambling is legalised, it still should be remembered that its success is slowing down. The former Portuguese colony is currently facing an anti-corruption campaign launched by the Chinese government to boost the image of the communist party. At this point it is also appropriate to mention the slowdown in the Chinese economy. Consequently, the VIP players who have made the success of the casinos in Macau desert the growing region now, and gambling revenues are expected to decline down to only $30 billion in 2015.

An estimated 3 billion in revenue for 2015

The brick and mortar casinos in the Philippines are showing an incredible growth. The country currently only has three gambling establishments all gathered in the capital Manila. Together they earned no less than $2.2 billion in revenues in 2013 and $2.5 billion in 2014. For 2015, the estimates suggest revenues of $3 billion. All experts believe that the success of the local industry can only continue, since the casinos are only beginning to attract big players.

The three gambling complexes in the Philippines

Up until this year, the city of Manila had two casino complexes: the Resorts World Manila, which opened its doors in 2009 and Entertainment City. Located on the bay, these establishments intend to become the top destinations for gambling and entertainment in Southeast Asia with an expected turnover of $7 billion by 2020. Another complex was opened in February as well: the City of Dreams Manila.

The country's strengths

According to JP Morgan, the Filipino casino industry should record revenues reaching $4.5 billion by 2018 and 5.5 billion by 2020. It must be acknowledged that the country has different strengths to achieve these revenues, as for example, its geographical proximity to China, relatively low prices for restaurants and hotels, and particularly beautiful beaches. Additionally, the gambling establishments face a lower taxation than in the neighbouring countries. Furthermore, advertising is allowed and locals can go there legally, contrary to the laws of South Korea, Malaysia and Singapore.

Three serious difficulties

Even though the Philippines have many assets to establish itself as a centre for gambling in the coming years, the country still has to face three serious challenges. In fact, it does not have a lot of infrastructure between the Manila airport and the casinos and security is poor. China has classed the Philippines in 4th position of countries to avoid, it comes after Iraq, but before Afghanistan and Somalia. Many experts are also counting on a return of the growth of the Macau casinos in 2016, which could harm the development of those of the Philippines.

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