The Philippines has been in the online gambling news a lot recently, with their renewed hunting and hounding of illegal gamblers and all [see → Filipino police against illegal gambling]. But what about the gamblers that are playing legally, surely they are about to be rewarding for their above board activities? Well as a matter of fact, yes, they are. The Philippines will be opening a brand new casino resort next year, and it set to be only the first of four such ventures in the country.
Bloomberry Resort’s Solaire Resort and Casino is planning on opening its doors in March of next year, and is predicted to be the first of four such resorts to be setting up shop in Manila in the Philippines. Originally, a five star hotel with four world class restaurants offering fifteen dining options and fully complimented with five hundred guest rooms are said to be the first facilities to appear. Alongside this, am eighteen thousand five hundred meters squared gambling deck that hosts over ten hundreds of slot machines and three hundred table games has also been planned. A special number of VIP salons are also in the works.
This first original resort is predicted to cost a whopping $750 million, and more work to complex, such as adding an additional three hundred rooms, retail departments, a night club, and movie cinema could see an additional two hundred and fifty million dollars added to the cost by early 2014.
What’s the target of this new land-based casino complex in Manila then? The vast wealth of some of Asia’s highest rolling billionaire gamblers are their primary target. They are plenty of wealthy Asians who love to gamble, and this complex has been designed with them in mind. The ultimate goal behind this though, is the swiping of clientele from Macau’s lucrative gambling resorts, which many call the gambling capital of Asia, and after Las Vegas, Nevada; the world. The Solaire resort believes they can steal upwards of six percent of Macau’s wealthiest gamers by next year alone.
A fifteen percent tax rate on foreign gambling set by the Philippines is positively peanuts compared to the lofty thirty nine percent invoked by Macau, and this could be seen as one reason rich gamblers might shift over to the Philippines. Solaire is expecting to pull in between five and ten thousand players a day at their resort, with 55% of their income coming from standard gamblers and local wealthy citizens, whilst the other 45% they are predicting to come from wealthy foreign gamblers, the VIP’s if you will.
There is concern about the move however, as Macau itself as suffered a 70% dip in profits for the first time, despite the popularity of poker rising in Asia. Filipinos also prefer small stakes gambling, which could be a problem for a high end casino resort like the Solaire.