NEWS PHILIPPINES: General
The City of Dreams Breathes Life Into Manila’s Gaming Scene
It’ll take Manila many years to challenge the likes of Macau when it comes to the high tech and wondrous gaming facilities of the Venetian and its surrounding casinos. However, the region of Baranyanka in Manila, where there are a slew of developments currently being undertaken, is turning into a modern day gaming hub.
The City of Dreams had its soft opening on December 14, 2014 and soon reached around 15,000 visitors a day by the turn of the year. The resort and casino was built by billionaires James Packer and Lawrence Ho, co-chairs of Melco Crown, one of the most revered casino companies in the world.
The businessmen’s vision for the casino is for it to help the Philippine tourism industry - similar to what the Venetian has done for Macau. The casino has also given a welcomed injection into the local economy, providing thousands of jobs for locals.
In 2015, the duo hope that they can turn the resort casino into an internationally recognized gaming establishment that attracts people from all over the world. If they succeed in attracting international travelers it will also help the surrounding casinos that also populate the Baranyanka region.
Packer and Ho utilized some of Hollywood’s biggest stars for the launch of the City of Dreams. Ho told the Business Inquirer: “Our ability to bring together and work with leading names in the entertainment, hospitality and lifestyle sectors was key to realising City of Dreams Manila, which will now set the benchmark for entertainment-inspired leisure destinations globally.”
With the Philippine gaming market now reported to be worth $2.3 billion, Packer and Ho were well aware that they would have to create something special to set the City of Dreams apart from the other gaming establishments in the area not to mention online gaming in the country. Ever since InterCasino was launched as the first online casino portal in the late 90s, Filipinos have been spending approximately 1.38 billion pesos a year on online gaming according to Chip Analyst.
So, Packer and Ho created a two-hectare gaming space, a resort with over 900 hotel suites, the DreamPlay amusement park, and host of reputable restaurants including their Nobu restaurant that serves world class contemporary Japanese food and Erwin’s Gastropub that offers diners food accompanied by a selection of international beers to make sure that this was a very unique experience for visitors. On top of that, the casino also has live entertainment throughout the day, a Grand Ballroom for theatre productions and Chaos which now welcomes some of the biggest DJs in the world.
As the Baranyanka region continues to develop, it will be interesting to see if the area welcomes anymore big hitters to accompany the likes of the City of Dreams, Solaire and Resorts World, to make it one of the most appealing gaming hubs in Southeast Asia.
What do you think the area is missing? Do you agree that the City of Dreams is a positive for the Philippine economy? Let us know what you think below.