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Davao City ideal for casino, gaming investments — study

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DAVAO CITY — A study conducted by consultancy firm Property Interactive Marketing Enterprise (PRIME Philippines) indicates that Davao City is one of the most ideal locations for casino, gaming, and hotel investments.

“In our report for this month we tackled the current settings of the Philippines, why is it viable for the said industries. We would like to encourage investors of hotel or casino operators to go to Davao as (it is) really a viable place for the said industries,” Raphil D. Saguan, PRIME Philippines capital markets and investment associate, told media in a forum last week.

The firm cited that there was an 11.6% increase in casino and offshore gaming gross revenue from 2016 to 2017 in the Philippines, which can be attributed to the growth of the country’s international market.

Mr. Saguan said Davao is a good site because of the growing population that could serve as a source of both clientele and labor force, low poverty incidence, and increase in tourism traffic.

“As you look at it, we have a very good population (here), we can outsource human resources, and we have buying power,” he said.

He also cited that Davao has an average annual income of P247,000, which is close to the national average of P267,000.

“We see spending power among Davaoeños,” he said.

Competition in the casino and gaming sector is also low with only two existing major establishments.

“Only the one in Grand Regal (Hotel) and the one in Apo View Hotel,” Mr. Saguan said.

For tourism, the PRIME Philippines official said, “Currently we have 3.6 days average length of stay of tourists, both foreign and local, and daily expenditures is P4,270. That’s quite high. We also look at the higher demand of tourism related facilities or hotels. Despite having 10,512 rooms in 318 accommodations, we are still short.”

The company has standing non-disclosure agreements with five international hotel operators that are keen on expanding in Davao with the expected increase in direct international flights.

“We’re talking about a European based hotel, an American, and a Swiss, definitely these are world-renowned brands. They are interested in mainly putting up a hotel,” Mr. Saguan said. — Maya M. Padillo