The Manila casino-scene, as quickly expanding as it is, can be more or less counted in two hands at the moment; which is what I’ll be attempting to do. So for the next few months, I’ll be reviewing 10 casinos and rating them on a personal basis – meaning I’ll write based on how much they let me win!
Kidding aside, I’ll be taking a look at the interiors, the game set-up, service, crowd, and overall level of entertainment. Hopefully this review will somehow help you select a casino for your night out in Manila.
I’m starting off with City of Dreams Manila, for as the saying goes, go big or go home.
Location and Aesthetics
Nestled in Aseana Avenue corner Roxas Boulevard, City of Dreams, surprisingly, has a smaller casino floor than you would expect given its large and imposing stature. The first thing I noticed when I walked-in was that there only seemed to be a few live tables, especially when compared to other casinos around Manila. The word I would use to describe the place alone would be – cozy. Of course, on some occasions, cozy can quickly turn into crowded, so it’d be best to time your visits or set yourself on extrovert mode before heading on over.
Games and Entertainment
The entertainment offered the usual estrangement of gaming options, from slot machines, to black jack tables, to the local favorite – baccarat. All of the furnishing and machines still appeared new and top of the line, not surprisingly, since they had only opened back in 2015. Looking around I noticed mixed into the bowl, two things that were particularly different or at least unexpected (for me). There in one section of the floor was a virtual horse racing area. Personally, I didn’t see the appeal of a virtual horse race and found it a little less exciting than an actual live horse race but evidently it was a hit as there were quite a few bettors and spectators during my visit. The second thing that I noticed was that there was a live band playing, which I thought added an element of showmanship to the overall experience in the casino.
Staff Service and Guest Relations
The service is nothing to complain about; in fact I rather enjoyed it as some of the staff was actually being interactive and attentive. Since I’m not a heavy gambler or a grumpy one at that, I didn’t mind their occasional input of “sayang!” (too bad!). Actually, I found it endearing that some of them spoke casually with me and even cheered me on whenever I had won or offered me consoling words whenever I had lost.
After roaming around the first and second floor of the casino, and playing a couple of games at that; I settled into one of the restaurants and had a well-deserved meal. Happily, I didn’t wait long to get seated or served despite there being quite a few people that day.
Overall my experience had been fun, and since I mentioned I’d be giving specific advice I’d say:
- Chat up the service as they’ll bring you your drinks faster
- Skip the black jack tables as they seemed to be always full (unless you’re willing to wait)
- Have a laugh at the virtual race (or enjoy a bet or two, if you’re into that)
- Then enjoy a nice meal at one of the restaurants with your earnings, which if you’re like me – isn’t too much.
To my readers who, like me, are new or relatively new to the casino scene; I’ll be sure to give tips on how to make the most out of your trip – so stay tuned for the next reviews. Next time I’ll be heading out to Solaire Resort and Casino; a local gem that’s been making waves in the Filipino casino industry.