How Casino Tourism is Boosting the Philippines' Travel Industry

Known for stunning beaches, delicious cuisine, incredible swimming, and diving spots, and some of the most spectacular natural wonders, the Philippines is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. What is also unique about this Southeast Asian country is its colorful culture. Friendly locals also contribute to the country's thriving tourism.

Other significant factors contributing to the country's tourism include the availability of very affordable accommodation options. In fact, the Philippines is one of the cheapest travel destinations in Asia, especially when compared to more costly alternatives, such as Singapore, Japan, North Korea, China, and the Maldives.

What is also interesting about the Philippines tourism and travel industry is the rise in the number of individuals visiting the country to engage in gambling activities at one of the many renowned casino resorts. The Solaire Resort and Casino Manila is the most famous complex of this kind in the country, but it is not the only one.

Foreigners are also impressed with the Okada Manila Resort, Thunderbird Resort, Widus Hotel and Casino, and City of Dreams Manila.

The Most Luxurious Casino Resorts in the Philippines

When discussing the most luxurious casino resorts in the country, we must mention the Solaire Resort and Casino complex located in Manila in the Entertainment City. The resort opened its doors in 2013 after receiving an operating license from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation. The hotel area includes eight hundred rooms, while the casino covers a massive area of over 199,000 sq feet.

Another luxurious casino resort is City of Dreams. The resort is managed and owned by Melco Resorts and Entertainment. City of Dreams Manila opened in 2009, and over the years, it has become one of the top gambling destinations for foreigners in the country. With over two thousand rooms and a massive gaming space that covers over 420,000 square feet, the resort is bigger than Solaire Resort and Casino.

Equally impressive and luxurious is the Okada Manila resort situated in the Entertainment City. Okada Manila opened in 2016 after seven years of construction. The hotel area includes almost one thousand rooms, while the casino covers an area of 284,283 sq ft. Online gambling is also perfectly legal in the country, and foreigners visiting can also engage in iGaming activities. If you are looking for legal online casino sites in the Philippines, visit

Rise of Casino Tourism in the Philippines

To support casino tourism, the Filipino government recently announced that Boracay Island would accommodate several land-based casinos. Today, Boracay Island does not have gambling establishments of any kind. 

While foreigners visiting the Philippines enjoy iGaming activities, many agree that nothing compares to the atmosphere of gambling in a brick-and-mortar casino. At this point in time, the land-based hotels and casinos in Manila make up the majority of local gambling options.

The love and appeal of land-based gambling venues are one of the significant contributors to the country's casino tourism. While the Philippines is not the most famous casino destination in the world, it is one of the most appealing options, especially for gamblers who are on a tight budget and who are looking for more affordable options.

According to this report by Statista, over 8.2 million foreigners visited the Philippines in 2019. Due to the Covid-19 restrictions, the country was visited by just around 0.16 million foreigners in 2021. This year, things are finally getting back to normal in terms of international tourist arrivals. Casino tourism is one of the significant factors contributing to the country's travel industry.

Impact of Casino Tourism to Philippines' Economy and Travel Industry?

Just like most other countries that have legalized land-based gambling activities, gambling establishments in the Philippines are boosting the country’s tourism industry. There is a deep correlation between the travel industry and casino tourism. In the countries such as the United States and Australia, tourism is significantly boosted by casino resorts.

In the last several years, the gambling industry in the Philippines has observed a significant growth after several major international companies started operating their gambling services and products. According to a yearly report published by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation in 2020, the organization collected over ₱36 billion in gross gaming revenues in the twelve months of 2020. That same year, the organization also collected over ₱5 billion in cash dividends.

Legally operating gambling establishments boost not only the country’s travel industry but its economy as well. In addition, as the gambling industry is progressively growing, new working opportunities emerge. More working opportunities also bring more funds to the economic system. Casino tourism is also responsible for encouraging diversity in many different ways.

In addition to attracting more visitors, casino tourism also attracts more potential investors. In the last several years, many international gambling companies opened their gambling ventures in the Philippines, and these cater not only to high rollers but also to other target audiences. Casino tourism can also bring in individuals from all different countries, while other industries reap the benefits as well.

For instance, casino tourism is an ideal opportunity for the overall hospitality industry. In countries with well-developed casino tourism, such as the Philippines, partnerships between hotels, casinos, restaurants, and other entities in the hospitality industry are widespread. Essentially, casinos operating in the Philippines provide that much-needed boost in foreign visitors to restaurants, hotels, and other popular tourist attractions.

Due to the high concentration of casino resorts in one place, Manila is the most frequented area in the country by foreigners who want to gamble. Aside from Manila, cities such as Olongapo, Angeles City, Pampanga, and Cebu also contribute to the country's growing casino tourism

With NUSTAR getting provisional gaming license by PAGCOR and Bloomberry Resorts Corporation investing in casino developments in Cebu and Pampanga, the future of casino tourism in the Philippines looks promising.

JL Santiago Aquino

A millennial lifestyle blogger from Caloocan City who adores trying new things. ✨ Email: Follow @JayL_Aquino on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok & Facebook.

1 comment:

  1. The Philippines has so much to offer already culturally, these aspects should be magnified to increase tourism.