Philippines Sets Yearly Gaming Revenue All-Time Record

The Philippines’ national gaming regulator, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), has posted the official financial report for the whole of 2018, reporting it has surpassed 2017 by 13% in terms of gross gaming revenue, setting a new all-time high!

Casino revenue in this archipelagic country in South-East Asia has reached $3.79 billion over the course of the last twelve months! 2017’s revenue was, in turn, 15% higher than that of 2016.

PAGCOR’s chairman, Andrea Domingo, reminded the public, during a Reuters press conference, that official forecasts for this year predict an 8.5% growth in revenue, which would set a brand-new record for the nation.

Critical Mass and Safe Environment

PAGCOR, despite being the country’s official regulator, also operates a chain of state-funded casinos. A private sector is catered to by Melco Resorts and Japan’s Universal Group subsidiaries.

Domingo has said that all integrated casino resorts in the country are doing well and she was right – the combined force of nine private casinos amounts to 1,580 gaming tables and 9,895 gaming machines. PAGCOR-operated venues have 9,679 gaming machines but much fewer tables comparatively – 470.

The chairman is certain that the Philippines will retain their appeal in the wake of surging regional markets which are gaining momentum. “If you have critical mass and a safe environment, gamblers will still be there,” she said in response to those fears.

New properties are being built on a very large scale in Cambodia and Vietnam…

…with the most potentially lucrative market, that of Japan, heating up after being recently put through a legal framework.

Facing the President

Her next step will be having a frank and open talk about the casino industry’s pros and cons with the country’s president, Rodrigo Duterte.

Duterte, known for his hard stance on a multitude of topics, is concerned about the proliferation of casino businesses in the country and the online gambling sector. Domingo’s mission is to try and persuade him that gaming industry can contribute to good causes and should be seen as an ally of the state, not an enemy.

In relation to that, PAGCOR will not be handing out new licenses to interested land-based operators from February of this year.

President Duterte announced the use of his executive powers to annul the land lease for the Landing International Development’s $1.5 billion Manila casino resort project. He also says that Galaxy Entertainment’s proposed $500 million casino project on Boracay island is not welcome.

Source:

“Pagcor says Philippine GGR hit record US$3.8 bln last year”, ggrasia.com, January 23, 2019.

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