The next multi-billion dollar Philippines casino destination? Cebu… perhaps

  • Plans to develop follow an ongoing push in the Philippines for casino growth
  • Luxurious location of Cebu is an ideal location for a mega casino

If you’ve never heard of Cebu, odds are you haven’t heard of PAGCOR either. Residents of the Philippines should be familiar with both however, the latter being an acronym for the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation, and the former being the reported location of the island nation’s next mega-casino.

Casino philippins Cebu
Casinos in paradise? Quite possible at the Philippines island of Cebu

The province of Cebu, located in the Central Visayas region, is best known for its iconic 16th century relics of its Spanish colonial past.

That could all be about to change as Cebu gears up for the latest casino to grace the Philippines. With space at a premium in the capital Manila, it’s not surprising to see the idea floated for expanding the country’s burgeoning gambling sector into other regions.

“We listen to our investors. They asked us to give a five-year breathing space,” said PAGCOR chair Andrea Domingo in response to the impasse in Manila that has seen plans for additional casinos put on ice.

The Philippines hasn’t always been synonymous with gambling but in recent years there’s been a real drive by the government to make the country compete with other southeast Asian gambling strongholds such as Macau.

Sprawling casinos

Over $4 billion has already been spent on four sprawling casinos in the 120-hectare Entertainment City, a beachfront complex that has proven a hit with tourists.

As the second largest city in the Philippines and with excellent transport links, Cebu is a natural choice for siting the next batch of casinos to be given the green light. Two casinos in the region have already received the go ahead, one in Mandaue and the other in Mactan.

There’s been talk of the Philippines growing its casino revenue to surpass that of other Asian gambling-friendly territories such as Macau, and the next phase of development would certainly go some way towards achieving that lofty goal. PAGCOR have expressed hopes of seeing the next casino they have approved opening for business in Cebu within three years.

At some point the Philippines is going to hit peak casino and put the brakes on, but for now they’re content to make hay while the sun shines, rolling out mega casino after mega casino, each one more ambitious than the last.

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