Entertainment City isn’t actually a city. Or, at least, it’s not really a city. Instead, Entertainment City – also called E-City and located in Parañaque – is a PAGCOR development project with the aim to create a major tourist destination within Metro Manila. The Entertainment City “master plan” is for the area to be a sort of Las Vegas Strip for Southeast Asia.
And by all accounts, everything has been going according to that plan. With three major Philippine casino Integrated Resorts (IRs) already up and running (and two more in various stages of approval and construction), the “Parañaque Strip” is already a huge draw. If you’re interested in casino gaming in the islands, E-City should be the first stop on your list of legal Philippine gambling regions to check out.
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What Is Entertainment City?
Just as Manila City is the Heart of the Philippines, Entertainment City is the heart of the Philippines casino market. Developed in the city of Parañaque by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), the area stretches over 120 hectares (~300 acres) along approximately five miles of the Manila Bay.
Designated as a “Special Economic Zone,” Entertainment City is designed to be a Vegas-style strip with luxury accommodations, world class restaurants, and top-notch gambling floors and entertainment venues.
As of 2023, three of the four Philippine casino IRs called for by the ambitious PAGCOR project have already been opened to the public. The fourth venue is slated to open sometime in 2023 or 2024. As such, the E-City project is nearly complete.
But since such projects are never really complete, it’s no surprise that a fifth billion-dollar Entertainment City IR venue is pending approval and groundbreaking!
Is Casino Gambling Legal In Entertainment City?
Obviously. After all, that’s why the place was built in the first place! If gambling is legal anywhere in the Philippines, it’s legal in E-City – and then some. That is, not only is Entertainment City gambling legal, it’s expected when visiting any of the Luzon casinos.
Nevertheless, there are some restrictions that make Entertainment City casinos potentially less attractive to players – especially local players. For one thing, you have to be at least 21 years old to gamble in any E-City casino. While the resorts allow younger patrons access to other amenities, gaming is strictly limited to the 21+ crowd.
Secondly, if you’re a local and not a tourist, there are Philippine gambling laws in place to ensure you can’t play unless you make a certain amount of money.
These age and income barriers make it impossible for many citizens to enjoy their favorite pastime. Even worse, the restrictions are for both in-person play and online play. (If you’ll recall, domestic online gambling in the Philippines was legalized back in 2021 to give the brick-and-mortar venues a “safety net” during the COVID pandemic.)
Luckily, offshore gambling is also legal in the Philippines, and these sites come with far fewer local restrictions. Most legit online Philippine casinos are open to residents at just 18+, and there are no income requirements, either. You can even bet with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies (Ethereum, Cardano, Binance Coin, etc.), which is something E-City casinos can never compete with!
Entertainment City Casinos
As of 2023, there are three Entertainment City Philippine casinos currently open to the public. These include the Solaire Resort & Casino (opened 2013), the City of Dreams Manila (2014), and the Okada Manila (2016).
Two other casino resorts are pending launch in E-City: the Westside City Resorts World, which is currently in the final stages of construction; and the NayonLanding complex, which has yet to receive regulatory approval to break ground.
Note: All three E-City venues offer limited online casino gambling (iGaming). However, given the foot traffic these facilities are designed to attract, online gambling is not considered a flagship service.
List Of Casinos In Entertainment City
- Property Size:3 hectares (~21 acres)
- Gaming Floor: 200,000 sq. ft.
- Slots: 1620+
- Table Games: 360+
- Hotel Rooms: 800
- Restaurants: 15 restaurants and lounges, including Kiwa, Finestra Italian Steakhouse, Yakumi, Red Lantern
- Notable Features: Two 17-story hotel towers, The Theatre at Solaire, “Poolside” events venue, The Forums conference rooms, Solaire Spa, Solaire Gym, Sky Range Shooting Club indoor shooting range, The Shoppes at Solaire
- Opening Date: March 16, 2013
- Property Size:2 hectares (~15 acres)
- Gaming Floor: 200,000 sq. ft.
- Slots: 1620+
- Table Games: 289+
- Hotel Rooms: 938
- Restaurants: 23 restaurants and lounges, including Crystal Dragon, Nobu, Season88, Tung Lok
- Notable Features: Three hotels (NUWA Manila, Nobu Hotel Manila, Hyatt Regency Manila), Grand Ballroom, Melco Club, Li Ying VIP Club, Qi Long Club, NUWA Spa, Nobu Spa, Salon de Matt, Centerplay entertainment venue, DreamWorks DreamPlay family entertainment venue, resort-style pool
- Opening Date: December 14, 2014
- Property Size: 44 hectares (~110 acres)
- Gaming Floor: 285,000 sq. ft.
- Slots: 3000+
- Table Games: 500+
- Hotel Rooms: 993
- Restaurants: 21 restaurants and lounges, including Yu Lei, Ginza Nagaoka, Japanese Kappou
- Notable Features: Two 15-story hotel towers connected via skybridge, The Fountain attraction, The Garden attraction, Cove Manila indoor beach club, The Retreat Spa, fitness club, resort-style pool, PLAY Kids’ Club
- Opening Date: December 30, 2016
- Under construction
- Pending regulatory approval
Domestic Casinos In Entertainment City
As you can see, the domestic E-City gambling venues are all world-class tourist destinations with five-star restaurants, accommodations, and entertainment packages. Unlike other PH casino regions, E-City really isn’t intended for local casual players.
If you live in Metro Manila or Parañaque near Entertainment City, there are other options available to you (see below). Of course, if you feel like living it up once in a while and meet the legal requirements to play in E-City, you certainly can.
Offshore Online Casinos In Entertainment City
For most residents living in Parañaque and other districts near E-City, the best way to gamble is online with an offshore Philippine casino site like one of the venues featured here. Most of these sites accept Filipino players at just 18 and up, and several of them have all the major gaming markets under one roof.
These, of course, include casino gambling (i.e. Philippine online slots, online blackjack, online roulette, etc.), live-dealer casino table games, legal online sports betting, legal online poker rooms, and even daily horse odds from tracks all around the world.
Other Types Of Gambling In Entertainment City
Entertainment City is a huge tourist destination, but it’s a relatively small development. As such, there aren’t really too many gambling opportunities in E-City except for those hosted by the casinos there.
That said, you don’t have to walk more than a block or two to get out of E-City and into Parañaque proper. There, you’ll find all sorts of smaller gambling venues, including sabong pits, STLs, Philippine poker rooms, PAGCOR Casino Filipino gambling venues, E-Games retailers, MSW sports betting lounges, and more.
The most popular non-casino gambling markets near E-City are the following:
- Sabong/Cockfighting Betting – Sabong is practically the Philippine national pastime and is the oldest gambling market in the islands by far. As of 2023, there are numerous PAGCOR-regulated cockpits near Entertainment City (E-City casinos don’t host cockfights themselves), but online cockfighting betting – aka eSabong – is currently outlawed.
- Sports Betting/Online Sports Betting – The best E-City casinos all have full international sportsbooks powered by the PAGCOR-regulated MegaSportsWorld (MSW) brand. MSW sports betting is limited to players aged 21+, but legal offshore Philippine sportsbooks cover even more leagues and are open to players at just 18 and up.
- Philippine Lottery (PCSO Lottery) – The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) runs a nationwide lottery, which is designed to lessen interest in the popular illegal Jueteng gambling The PCSO runs Small Town Lottery (STL) retailers across the country, with many such outlets near Entertainment City.
- Philippine Horse Racing Betting – Horse racing has been a mainstay in the Philippines since the mid-1800s. The Manila Jockey Club (shuttered in 2022) was founded in Manila in 1867, and there are two active horse tracks near Entertainment City to this day. The best PH casino sites also offer online horse racing betting for both local and international races.