The Philippines has just unveiled a sprawling casino complex in Manila that is aimed at raising the small yet rapidly growing Southeast Asian nation into the big leagues in terms of attracting high-rollers and big spenders to gaming destinations steeped in opulence.
Manila Philippines the City of Dreams
City of Dreams consists of six gleaming, gold-tinted towers that overlook Manila Bay with a large egg-shaped dome structure called the Fortune Egg in the centre. The new resort is the property of Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd, and as reported by the Wall Street Journal, it will test Manila’s ability to attract high-rollers from China and elsewhere in the region to one of Asia’s ‘less glamorous capitals’. The launch coincides with a slump in Macau’s earnings, with a widely reported drop in revenue from Chinese high-rollers following Chinese government crackdowns.
Manila’s casino entertainment continues to grow, however, and The City of Dreams is the second development within the confines of Entertainment City, a development which the Wall Street Journal reports is now halfway towards becoming a Las Vegas-style cluster of four casino resorts built on reclaimed land in Manila Bay.
City of Dreams consists of three luxury hotels, two nightclubs and 380 gaming tables, covering and area of 6.2 hectares. Melco Crown said that the development had already created 5,000 new jobs.
Clarence Chung Yuk Man, the chairman of the Philippine branch of Melco Crown, said that the development was not only geared towards foreigners but locals as well. Local gamblers reportedly spent $2.3 billion nationally in 2014, a sum not to be taken lightly.
As reported by the Filipino news publication, the Philippine Daily Inquirer, cross-promotion will also be a key strategy in luring high-rollers. Chung told a news conference, “We will promote cross marketing and also try to promote this property to our customers so that there is additional choice for them.”
He said that out of the licensed casino operators in the Philippines, Melco was the only one with a customer base in Macau that could bring in VIP customers and high-rollers.
The Inquirer also reported that the economy of the Philippines has been doing well, growing by more than six percent in 2014. Economic planning secretary Arsenio Balisacan reportedly remarked that the country had shaken off its reputation as the “sick man” of Europe. If that is indeed the case, Macau may now be facing some stiff competition in the region.