The Philippines could become a new Las Vegas

The Philippines casinos could become a new Las Vegas.The Philippines has high hopes of becoming one of the largest gambling centres in the world. It will provide competition for the major players in the casino industry, Las Vegas, Macau and Singapore when its new Entertainment City complex is completed. The 4 billion dollar Entertainment City is being built on reclaimed land in Manila.
The Solaire hotel casino resort costing over a billion dollars to construct is the first of four casino resorts to be developed in Entertainment City. Another one billion dollar casino resort is to open in 2014. It is being developed by Melco Crown Entertainment and its partner Belle Corporation. The hope is that by the time the four entertainment City casino resorts are all fully operational within the next four years that the income from gambling in the Philippines will reach about 10 billion dollars which would put it ahead of the 6 billion dollars revenues from gambling in Las Vegas and Singapore. At the moment income from gambling in the Philippines stands at around 2 billion dollars.The Solaire hotel casino which opened this month is one of the largest casino resorts in the Philippines. It employs almost 5 000 staff and about half of these are employed in the casino which offers players almost 300 gaming tables and well over a thousand slot machines. The complex also includes a 500 room hotel, restaurants, a health spa, a nightclub and a theatre. The casino aims to attract high rollers with its private gaming rooms.The Philippines has recently had its image as a tourist destination tainted due to questions of security in the country. It hopes to attract players from Hong Kong and China as well as from Macau but will need to overcome issues such as the killing of eight tourists from Hong Kong in 2010, disagreements with China over territorial waters and the problems caused by kidnappings and also by tensions in the south of the country.

However the attractions for casino operators in the Philippines are high when compared to other countries in Asia. The casino tax is 15 per cent compared to a similar tax at 40 per cent in Macau. The profit margin for casino operators will be higher and this will help bring in high roller players. These players are brought in by junket operators who take care of everything for these high roller gamblers and the attraction for the junket operators is also a higher commission than that available to the in other Asian gambling centres.

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