The gambling industry in Southeast Asia has been enjoying rapid growth for the last 10 years. In Macau in particular, casino taxes account for 80% of the government’s revenue, enough for the region to be considered the premier gambling destination in Asia and the gambling capital of the world.
However, with the number of casinos being developed across the Southeast Asian region, it will only be a matter of time before VIP gamblers and mass market gamblers take their eyes off Macau and shift their attention to fast-rising gambling hubs like Vietnam, South Korea and the Philippines.
Casinos currently operating in these countries are experiencing steady growth, with three more casinos rising soon in Vietnam and two planned in the Philippines.
In Singapore, luxurious Marina Bay Casino Resort continues to be among the main attractions for tourists, though the government is making it hard for locals to enter the casino by putting in place tough restrictions. By the end of the year, Marina Bay Sands will hire an extra 1,000 workers, a proof of the growing gambling industry in the country.
Booming Casino Market in Philippines and Vietnam
The Philippines currently joins the list of the fastest-growing casino hubs in Asia. In 2018, the country recorded $3.6 billion in casino revenue, representing a 22.9 percent increase from the previous year.
The Philippines made headlines in 2017 when a gunman attacked the Resorts World Manila in Pasay, Metro Manila and set casino tables and slot machines on fire. A total of 36 people were killed in the attack, and more than 50 were injured. But despite the deadly attack, casino revenue continued to grow, with a 7.6 percent increase recorded in 2017.
The Entertainment City, a gaming and entertainment complex in Metro Manila, houses some of the country’s main casino attractions, such as the City of Dreams Manila Solaire Resort & Casino and Genting’s Resorts World Bayshore.
Meanwhile, regulated online gambling is now allowed in Vietnam after the government recently made a U-turn on a ruling which previously prohibited locals from gambling online. Casino projects have been proposed for Vietnam’s Special Economic Zones in Van Don and Phu Quoc, which are expected to pave the way for massive casino investment in the country.
The Ho Tram Strip casino project in Vietnam is currently in the works, and upon completion, the $4 billion development will include a golf course and five integrated resorts. South Korea has also witnessed a surge in gambling revenues in the last few years. The Asian gambling market is expected to grow in leaps and bounds once Japan opens its three casinos resorts in the next few years.