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The gambling industry in the Philippines can be considered to be a successful example of the organization of gambling in order to earn the maximum profits for the state. Throughout the country, there are state casinos and private establishments, licensed by the corporation PAGCOR.

History of Gambling in the Philippines

Underground gambling flourished in Manila until the middle of the seventies of the 20th century. Many private establishments of different types operated without proper documentation, breaking the law in every possible way and avoiding paying taxes. These establishments included traditional casinos, as well as houses that offered original games, which were not widespread outside the country.

The only legal betting office, where it was possible to stake on jai-alai (popular among Filipinos type of sport with a ball), and some bingo halls whose organizers were local churches were operating officially in the Philippines at that time.

The President Marcos Ferdinand signed a decree #1067 in 1976 according to which the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation was established. This government agency was intended to establish order in the gambling industry making it a source of stable income, eliminate illegal forms of gambling and contribute to the development of tourism in the country.

One year later Manila Bay Casino started its activities in Manila. It was the first establishment that operated under the jurisdiction of PAGCOR. It was opened on board of the three-deck cruise liner MS Philippine Tourist. Co-founders of this casino were the Philippine Casino Operators Corporation and the Manila Bay Enterprises Incorporated, which was partially owned by the famous Stanley Ho.

Just a few years later, the ship suffered from a massive fire, which made it impossible to continue the operation of the casino. Therefore, it was decided that gambling establishments under the patronage of PAGCOR would operate on the territory of the country. The first one was launched at the Philippine Village Hotel.

PAGCOR was reorganized in 1986 and received new powers. Nowadays this is a very large and influential government agency with more than eleven thousand employees. The corporation has its own casinos and slot halls in all major cities of the country. It also issues the permits, supervises the activities of private gambling establishments, including casinos, bingo halls and even Internet cafes that offer gambling entertainment.

The rules for issuing licenses to third-party operators are very strict and take into account the national interests. So, only the companies that are willing to invest at least one billion dollars may get permits to conduct business in the gambling industry. Moreover, at least 95% of their staff must be citizens of the Philippines, which allows the government to partially solve the problem of unemployment of local population.

Offline Casinos in Manila

Now in Manila there are about twenty casinos. The greatest number of them is concentrated in the Manila Bay and near the airport of Para?aque. The bulk of the establishments are owned by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation. They are operating under the brand name Casino Filipino. There are also gambling houses that belong to private companies and operate under the license issued by PAGCOR.

Below there is a list of casinos that will be updated with each opening/closing of new establishments. Some of them are specialized casinos. Others operate on the basis of luxury hotels. There are also poker clubs that offering gambling games.

So, we offer you the list of casinos in the Philippines:

  • Casino Filipino
  • Casino Filipino Universal
  • Casino Filipino Malabon
  • Casino Filipino Binondo
  • Casino Filipino Citystate
  • Santa Cruz
  • City of Dreams Manila
  • Club Tropicana Las Pinas
  • Club Tropicana Santa Mesa
  • Manila Grand Opera
  • Metro Card Club
  • Lancaster Hotel
  • Empire Poker Sports Club
  • Madison Square Garden
  • Master Poker Sports Club
  • Midas
  • Midas Touch Poker Sports Club
  • New World Manila Bay
  • Resorts World Manila
  • Networld
  • Pan Pacific Manila
  • Waterfront Manila Pavillion
  • Solaire
  • Sofitel Philippine Plaza

In the near future the opening of several new entertainment complexes with casinos is expected. Manila Bay Resorts and Resorts World should open their doors to customers in the middle of Entertainment City in the city of Para?aque. The complex called Winford Leisure and Entertainment will start its activities in the shopping mall Santa Cruz, located in Manila, at the end of 2015.

Other Kinds of Gambling Activities

Speaking of other forms of gambling in the Philippines, we should primarily recall the betting activity. Local residents are fond of the above-mentioned jai-alai, cockfighting and horse racing. Most of them willingly make bets in official and illegal betting offices.

The first bookmakers were legalized in the early eighteenth century. Now the license for this type of activity belongs to the MegaSportsWorld, which has offices in most major towns of the country. Gamers can stake on major sports events there.

We can't help recalling Internet cafes. Metro Manila, owned by PAGCOR, is the operator of over one hundred such establishments. Their visitors can legally make bets in different online games of chance.

In addition, this form of entertainment is offered on several official websites whose operator is BigGame, which operates under the license issued by PAGCOR.

Online gambling is also in high demand among the local population and tourists, so the experts predict the great future for it.


Gambling industry in the Philippines keeps growing despite the significant decrease in this field in many other countries. Casinos in Manila and other cities draw attention of customers from different countries. In particular, over one million Chinese gamers visited them last year. Taking into consideration the fact that the government of China has undertaken serious attempts to eliminate corruption in the gambling industry, which affect many Chinese casinos, it can be expected that the flow of tourists from this country will increase.

The portal Casinoz will keep monitoring the situation in the gambling industry of the Philippines and familiarizing its readers with all interesting news. Stay tuned!

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