Subic Bay Yacht Club, located in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone on the Philippines coastline west of Clark, has held a soft opening for its new boutique casino.
The casino forms a central feature of the newly renovated Yacht Club which, at a cost of Php500 million (US$10 million) for the renovation, is targeting Asia’s growing yachting and boating community.
“Subic is a safe haven in the boating world, and we have mega-yachts coming in on a weekly and monthly basis to use Subic Bay as their base,” said Manuel Antonio Sequeira, CEO and President of Volare Grandezza – one of the partner firms in the property’s casino operations.
“We have everything from Russian mega-yachts measuring 200 meters and above to mega-ships coming in from China – the smallest being 3,800 people and the biggest 5,200 guests, which is a huge market.
“So we saw an opportunity that this Yacht Club would be a great base to host a casino. We are positioning ourselves very much as a boutique casino, and we are only the second yacht club in the world to have a casino after Hobart (Australia).”
The new casino, offering impressive views of the serenity of Subic Bay, opened on Monday with eight tables and 169 slot machines but expects to have 43 gaming tables in operation by 1 December, offering roulette, pai gow, baccarat, blackjack and pontoon.
In-house junket operations will launch from January 2020 and there are also longer term plans to work with international junket operators from across Asia.
One of only two casinos within the Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Subic Bay Yacht Club enjoys the same tax benefits as nearby Clark Freeport Zone and sees itself as a unique alternative to the growing casino industry in Clark, whose primary target market is Koreans looking for a golfing getaway.
Subic offers three golf courses of its own and is just 45 minutes from Clark by car, but also sees its waterside location as a competitive advantage.
“The growing market in Asia of people boating, yachting, will bring people here,” Sequeira told Inside Asian Gaming.
“The fishing here is fantastic and just 20 minutes out by boat out we have coves which you will drool over with pristine sands, unreachable by road, a 2km beach with nobody else around and clear, clean water. It’s something we can produce that nobody else can.”