The Philippines is still generating massive profits thanks to the steady stream of foreign high roller players, who boosted its gambling revenue to a record high this year.
As explained by the boss of the local gambling regulatory body on January 22nd, the result is even more impressive, considering the fact that the local gambling market is preparing to face greater competition from neighbors who are also willing to take advantage of flourishing casino market.
The Chairperson of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR), Andrea Domingo, revealed that the gross gaming revenue of the country’s casino industry is expected to rise to 217 billion pesos (about $5.6 billion) this year, which would be an 8.5% increase in comparison to the result generated a year earlier. The gross gaming revenue rose by 13% reaching a record of about 200 billion pesos in 2018.
Ms. Domingo also added that all local integrated resorts are doing well, including the Philippine-based units of Japan’s Universal Entertainment Corp. and Macau’s Melco Resorts & Entertainment.
According to data provided by the Government of the Philippines, there were nine private casino companies operating in the country. They offer an overall number of 9,895 electronic gaming terminals and 1,580 gaming tables. PAGCOR also operates a number of casino venues which operate 9,679 electronic gaming machines and 470 gaming tables combined.
The Philippines Could Soon Face Neighbors’ Gambling Competition
For years, the Philippines’ gambling sector has been among the fastest-growing ones in Asia. Local integrated casino resorts have established thousands of jobs and have generated both tax and tourism revenue for the country’s coffers. The local casino and gambling industry also benefits from many foreign high rollers who are currently unable to gamble in their domestic South-east Asian markets due to gambling bans.
PAGCOR’s boss also noted that she would not depend on the current situation, especially at a time when other countries in the region have also demonstrated an interest in gambling expansion.
Japan has already given the nod to megacasinos establishment, while Vietnam and Cambodia have opened the door to foreign investments in their counties’ gambling sector. All this could cause some changes in the region’s gambling sector, with rising competition among the largest players in the industry.
Andrea Domingo shared her intention to meet the country’s President Rodrigo Duterte, who has opposed gambling expansion and provide him with more details about the possible setbacks which could be faced by the industry and the potential investments which could be made by the casino sector in socio-civic projects and initiatives. President Duterte has been known for his strong opposition to casino expansion, saying that he would not permit any new casinos to be established during his tenure.
The year 2018 saw the Government of President Duterte halted the $1.5-billion integrated casino project of Landing International Development and also said “no” to the intentions of Macau-based Galaxy Entertainment Group to establish a $500-million integrated casino resort on the island of Boracay.