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LEISURE & ENTERTAINMENT | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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Will Singapore casinos soon be overshadowed by Philippines?

Philippines is competing to become Asia's gambling hub.

According to Bloomberg, Universal Entertainment Corp. Chairman Kazuo Okada said the Philippine gaming market could soon surpass Singapore’s, as improved ties with China promises more tourists and raise the prospects for his upcoming $2.4 billion casino. The Japanese gaming tycoon said in Manila on Wednesday that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s move to thaw relations with China as well as his efforts to fight drugs and crime will increase the number of Chinese visitors. At the same time, he sounded a note of caution about jumping into the world’s newest casino market in Japan due to its aging population.

“A lot of Chinese are coming into the Philippines, and that will improve more as improving bilateral relations between China and the Philippines increase tourism here,” said Okada in an interview ahead of a public preview of his resort, starting Dec. 21 and lasting till its official opening in the first quarter of 2017. “The Philippine gaming market will become bigger than Singapore” within years, he said, without giving a specific timeframe.

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