The luxurious City of Dreams Manila opened in the Philippine capital last December so that local players could visit the exciting integrated resort before its official opening on Monday 2nd of February. City of Dreams Manila is a joint venture between Macau based Melco Crown Entertainment and their local partner in the Philippines, the SM Group. The Australian billionaire James Packer and Macau based billionaire Lawrence Ho are joint chairmen of Melco Crown Entertainment and both were present for the official opening on Monday.
City of Dreams and Concert of Dreams
City of Dreams Manila is a vast, sumptuous casino and hotel entertainment complex built on reclaimed land in the Bay area of Manila. The huge integrated resort is the second complex developed in Pagcor’s Entertainment City which is to have four integrated resorts. The first integrated resort there, the Solaire Hotel and Casino belonging to the Bloomberry Resorts Group opened in Entertainment City in 2013 and it turned a profit one year later. So hopes are very high for the future of City of Dreams Manila. To mark the grand opening, there was also a major concert with local and international singing stars, a “Concert of Dreams”.
Growing economy in the Philippines.
City of Dreams has already been credited with creating 5,000 jobs and its opening has also led to infrastructure developments in the Manila Bay area. The integrated resort incorporates three hotels and it has over 900 new rooms. The complex has a vast gaming area including 380 gaming tables (baccarat, blackjack, roulette, sic bo, craps). Both owners of City of Dreams have made reference to the Philippines growing economy. The integrated resort is aiming initially at the local gambling market which was worth about 2.5 billion dollars last year and it has been forecast that when the four Entertainment City integrated resorts are up and running that the Philippine’s annual income from gambling could rise to around 10 billion dollars by 2020. This level of income would mean that the Philippines may eventually outstrip Las Vegas and Singapore in terms of gambling revenue.
Macau’s casinos in difficulty
While it is hoped that the Philippine’s strong domestic gambling market would protect its growing casino industry the country has already felt the effect of China’s control over its citizens travelling to gamble. After years of growth, Macau is experiencing monthly decreases in revenue from its casinos due to a crackdown on corruption in mainland China which has affected the number of high roller players. Recent tensions between China and the Philippines over territorial waters have meant a drop in the number of tourists from China. However unlike Macau, Manila’s City of Dreams won’t rely heavily on VIP players from mainland China. So far even before the grand opening this week, City of Dreams has been attracting up to 15 000 visitors daily.