Andrea Domingo, a former head of the Philippines’ Bureau of Immigration, has been chosen by the country’s incoming president, Rodrigo Duterte, to head the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor), reports the Philippine Star newspaper.
Pagcor is the country’s casino industry regulator, and the senior management is typically refreshed each time a new national president enters office. Pagcor is currently headed by Cristino Naguiat, who was appointed by the outgoing president, Benigno Aquino.
The new appointee Ms Domingo has also served as a congresswoman for Pampanga and general manager and chief executive of the Philippine Reclamation Authority, separately reported the online news outlet politics.com.ph.
The Philippine Star said Ms Domingo had been an organiser of volunteer groups for Mr Duterte’s election campaign, which culminated in his victory at the May 9 poll.
The same news outlet reported that Arthur Tugade, a former head of the Clark Development Corp, had been appointed as secretary of the Department of Transportation and Communications.
The Clark Development Corp is responsible for overseeing the Clark Freeport Zone, an economic development area at Pampanga, on Luzon Island, north of the country’s capital, Manila. The zone hosts a number of small, private sector, casino resorts.
The lack of quality infrastructure in the Philippines has been identified by some investment analysts as potentially inhibiting the growth in the number of overseas visitors to the country’s new generation of casino resorts.
Brokerage Daiwa Securities Group Inc said in a note on Tuesday that first quarter year-on-year growth in casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) at so-called integrated resorts located in Manila – including in Entertainment City area – had slowed to 6 percent, from the 18 percent expansion seen in the first quarter of 2015.
“This was despite Melco Crown (Philippines) Resorts Corp more than doubling City of Dreams Manila’s GGR (+133 percent year-on-year) to PHP4.8 billion [US$103 million],” wrote analyst Patricia Tamase.
She noted that GGR from Bloomberry Resorts Corp’s Solaire Resort and Casino, and from Travellers International Hotel Group Inc’s property Resorts World Manila both declined, down respectively by 6 percent year-on-year to PHP7.6 billion and by 18 percent year-on-year to PHP5.6 billion.
“Partially offsetting the double-digit growth in GGR from mass tables and slot machines was the 3 percent year-on-year decline in VIP GGR,” said Ms Tamase.
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”Ramp ups [of new Macau casinos] are taking a little bit longer. The market is somewhat volatile at the moment, but we continue to look at all the opportunities and are still very comfortable that things are starting to move ahead”
Chief executive of MGM China Holdings