PAGCOR: Philippine gaming revenue back to pre-pandemic levels

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An increased demand for leisure, travel and entertainment will result in maintained growth for the Philippine gaming industry over the course of the coming years, suggested regulators at a recent gathering.

The RGB Connect Gala Night at Hilton Clark Sun Valley Resort in the province of Pampanga heard Alejandro Tengco, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation Chair and Chief Executive Officer, suggest that the industry is back to pre-pandemic levels.

This saw the lifting of travel and movement restrictions cited as driving an increased demand for dining, shopping and other outdoor activities that were not possible for some time. 

“And so, one year into the term of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr, our gross gaming revenues have returned to near the levels of 2019 which was the year PAGCOR achieved its all-time high for Philippine GGR levels,” he said.

“Today, we expect the 2023 GGR to match, if not surpass, our 2019 record. Not bad considering that many of our traditional high rollers and junkets have not fully returned, but our domestic players and the influx of new tourists have filled the void.”

In the aftermath of PAGCOR allotting Php56.2bn for nation-building initiatives in 2024, Tengco also noted that the local gaming industry will also be supported by additional integrated resorts, as well as a modernisation program that will be tasked with driving revenue.  

“Clark is projected to become a major gaming and tourism hub before the end of this decade. If you go around Clark, you can see its immense potential,” Tengco noted.

“You can see the infrastructure in place, you can see the surrounding tourist destinations, and you can see the new buildings and new commercial districts being developed in all directions,” he said.

Adding: “We expect the delivery of 3,000 brand new slot machines by January next year. We have an agreement in place with a supplier for a revenue-sharing scheme for these new machines which we expect to generate at least P18bn in revenues in the next five years.

“We are also modernising our table games by replacing our old ones with new and more sophisticated gaming tables to attract more players and further increase revenues.”

Furthermore, a procurement process regarding the Casino Filipino online platform is also underway, with the regulator seeking a platform in a bid “to give PAGCOR a significant share of the very lucrative and very profitable online market.”