Gambling revenues in the Philippines seen at pre-pandemic levels by 2026

Reuters

MANILA — Philippine gaming industry revenue is expected to regain its pre-pandemic position by 2026 or even exceed that level, as gamer confidence slowly returns to the sector, a senior government official said on Tuesday. regulations.

“There will certainly be no more lockdowns, but it’s difficult to bring back player confidence,” Daniel Cecilio, head of the licensing and regulation group at state regulator Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp, told Reuters.

The Southeast Asian country’s gross gaming revenue (GGR), the amount wagered by players minus winnings, hit a record 256 billion pesos ($4.60 billion) in 2019, but Casino operations were then halted by the COVID-19 shutdowns, reducing revenue to around 100 billion pesos in 2020.

Revenue rose to 113 billion pesos in 2021 and 39 billion pesos in the first quarter of 2022, according to data from the gaming regulator.

By 2026, the GGR could reach 256 billion pesos or better, with land-based casinos contributing 146 billion pesos, Cecilio said.

The regulator’s projection mirrors the recovery path of neighboring gambling hubs like Singapore and Macau, which are reeling from Beijing’s strict zero-COVID strategy.

The Philippine freewheeling gambling industry has attracted foreign and domestic companies to create integrated casinos, creating tens of thousands of jobs over the past decade.

In the coming years, the sector’s recovery would be driven by pent-up demand and a return of confidence among domestic and foreign players, Cecilio said.

There are 51 land-based casinos in the Philippines, 38 of which are operated by the gaming regulator and the rest private, attracting big players from countries like China, Japan and South Korea.

Newport World Resorts, which has the nation’s first integrated casino, expects its operations to return to pre-pandemic levels by 2023, faster than the industry as a whole.

“We are expanding our gaming areas to absorb the junket groups that are coming in,” Sandy Amida, senior director of gaming operations at Newport World Resorts in Manila, told Reuters. — Reuters

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