Metro Manila – The unexpected casino attraction of South East Asia

Las Vegas has already been a synonym for gambling and all the luxury that its brick-and-mortar casinos offer. However, you would need to spend a lot of money to feel that experience. However, there are other places where you can enjoy the full gambling experience and all the glamour behind it. The Philippines are the emerging gambling hub that attracts many players all around the world. The gambling industry in this country is very developed thanks to clear regulations. Players can find the best resorts predominantly in Metro Manila, so dip into this article and find out more about gambling possibilities in this beautiful country.

Gambling in Metro Manila – What can you expect?

Metropolitan Manila, also known as Metro Manila, is one of the three metropolitan areas in the Philippines. It is probably the most developed part of the country, as it is a center of many industries, including education, media, finance, and technology. Its entertainment sector is not famous just locally, but on the international level as well.

1976 was the key year for the development of the gambling industry in the Philippines. It is a huge milestone since the government founded PAGCOR, the national gambling regulatory body. This step had a massive impact on the fight against illegal casinos since gambling was not allowed before 1976.
It’s not strange that the first physical casino was opened in Metro Manila since it was the country’s economic center back then. PAGCOR opened the first gambling venue on a three-deck ship in Manila Bay. However, it didn’t last for too long as the fire gutted this casino back in 1979. However, this hasn’t discouraged the Philippines authorities from making Metro Manila one of the world’s most recognizable gambling hubs.

Nowadays, players from all around the globe can visit and enjoy around twenty land-based casinos in Metro Manila. The majority of them are located in Manila Bay and operated by PAGCOR. All casinos are placed in luxury hotels and resorts, offering a complete and unique experience to all their visitors. We don’t need to mention that casino players can find hundreds of casino games, from the traditional ones like roulette or blackjack to modern slots and different poker varieties. Besides playing casino games, you can stay at one of the best hotels in the country and enjoy everything they have to offer to their visitors. You can find the full list of available casinos in Metro Manila.

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

The Casino Filipino Pavilion, opened in 1986, is the oldest casino venue in Metro Manila. On the other hand, Okada Manila is a brand-new venue and located in the Entertainment City. It was officially opened in 2016, and the investors spent almost $2.5B on its construction.

According to international sources, the demand is shifting from land-based to internet casinos. Besides physical casinos, Metro Manila visitors can also enjoy online gambling as well. Of course, PAGCOR regulates these activities as well and operates around 100 e-Gaming stations in this area. Those stations are internet cafes where customers can enjoy playing their favorite casino games online.

What is PAGCOR?

We have mentioned PAGCOR a couple of times so far, but if you are still not sure what it is, we will spend some words on it as well. The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation regulates all gambling activities on the Philippines’ territory. It was established back in 1976, and as we already said, it run the very first land-based casino in the country. PAGCOR’s role in regulating the gambling industry in the Philippines is instrumental, and it helped raise this sector to a very high level.
This regulatory body will keep the jurisdiction over the Philippines’ casinos until 2032, as it got a 25-year extension to deal with licensing and other regulations. The only area that has the autonomy to control its casinos is the Cagayan-Freeport. Besides that, PAGCOR is the only regulatory body for all online and brick-and-mortar casinos in the Philippines.

Attractions in Metro Manila – What should every tourist visit?

Glamorous casino hotels and resorts attract many visitors, and tourism is another important industry in Metro Manila. These two sectors are complementary and drive each other forward. Besides being a gateway to many other destinations in the Philippines, Metro Manila has a lot to offer for any tourist. Manila is a fast-growing city for visitors from abroad and one of the best shopping destinations in Asia.

If we speak of the cultural heritage, visitors can enjoy dozens of attractions. They are mostly located in the City of Manila and provide you an opportunity to learn more about the city’s origins. Since the Philippines were a Spanish colony, tourists can see numerous monuments dating several centuries ago. Perhaps the most famous historical complex is Intramuros. You can find a Manila Cathedral and Spanish citadel as the biggest Intramuros attractions.

Near the Intramuros, tourists can visit a historical urban park, Rizal. In the park’s heart is the Rizal Monument, named after the Filipino national hero Jose Rizal. If you like visiting museums, you can find several of those in Metro Manila. Some of the most notable ones are the National Museum of Anthropology, the National Museum of Fine Arts, and the Metropolitan Museum of Manila.

If you are still in the Intramuros area, you can head to Ermita, one of Manila’s cultural, touristic, and entertainment centers. One of the landmarks of this area that attracts a lot of tourists is Manila Ocean Park. It is an oceanarium featuring a hotel and a marine-themed mall. Malate is another tourist center with a famous seaside promenade called Baywalk. If you are looking for a great nightlife time, you will certainly find something that suits your tastes there.

Visitors shouldn’t miss seeing the Manila Zoo, which is the oldest zoo in the Philippines. It is also located in the Malate area, and its botanical garden will make you feel outside of the city crowd. Besides all these locations, you can visit numerous churches, enjoy stunning architecture, and spend some time in one of Manila’s famous parks.


The Philippines have a lot to offer to its visitors, and Metro Manila is the hotspot for the main entertainment activities in the country. Gambling lovers will enjoy luxury venues, as they can spin the wheels in the Vegas-like casinos. However, if you visit Metro Manila, you shouldn’t spend the entire time at the gaming table. This city has a lot to offer, from the historical monuments, natural oases to shopping malls and memorable nightlife. Put Metro Manila on your bucket list, and start planning your trip to this exciting location!


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