The push has been on for several years to make Manila’s Entertainment City a destination in its own right for well heeled gamblers from China as well as a place for the burgeoning middle and upper income Filipinos to find entertainment. In 2014 the rising wealth in the Philippines was second only to China in all of Asia.
Two of four integrated resorts in Entertainment City have opened. Solaire is attracting high rollers to its $1.2 billion offering and Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd’s City of Dreams is off to a big start after opening on February 2. City of Dreams cost more than $1 billion to launch.
Michael Van Cleef Ault, owner of Pangaea situated in Marina Bay Sands, Singapore opened Pangea and Chaos nightclubs at City of Dreams giving the first true world-class clubs and sophisticated international nightlife experience to Manila.
The Entertainment City complex is tiny compared to Macau, but revenues can only grow as the offering is expanded – while February revenues from the Asian giant should post today with analysts expecting a drop of as much as 55% for February as opposed to growth of 40% a year ago.
The corruption crackdown in China, which lead to a catastrophic decrease in high roller junkets to Macau may be just the shot in the arm Manila needed to help VIPs from Asia’s largest economy find their new favorite playground.
Two more casinos will join the action in 2016 and 2018. The $2 billion Manila Bay Resorts will be opened next year created by Universal Entertainment Corp of Japan, and in 2018 a partnership between Alliance Global Group Inc and Genting Hong Kong Ltd (Travellers International Hotel Group) will open Resorts World Bayshore in Entertainment City.