Alejandro Tengco (pictured), chairman and chief executive of state-run Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor), says an upgrade to its Casino Filipino chain of land-based venues might “generate at least PHP18 billion” (US$320.9 million) in revenues in the next five years.
The modernisation effort is to be done before a process for disposal of the Casino Filipino network is launched. The sell-off of public-sector casinos would also assist Pagcor in focusing on its regulatory work.
“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 PHP18 billion in revenues in the next five years,” stated Mr Tengco.
“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,” he added.
His comments were made during a speech at an event organised over the weekend by casino electronic games and services supplier RGB International Bhd, according to a Sunday press release.
The Pagcor boss also said the Philippine gaming sector could generate this year gross gaming revenue (GGR) that was likely “to match, if not surpass” the 2019 levels, before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“One year into the term of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., our gross gaming revenues have returned to near the levels of 2019,” which was an “all-time high for Philippine GGR,” noted Mr Tengco.
He added that the “lifting of travel and movement restrictions” in the country “had fuelled demand for dining, shopping and other outdoor activities that were not possible during the pandemic”.
“Today, we expect the 2023 GGR to match, if not surpass, our 2019 record,” said the Pagcor CEO. “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.”
Mr Tengco also said growth of the local gaming industry would be supported by the opening of more casino resorts in the nation, including new venues in Clark, on the country’s main island, Luzon.
“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,” said the Pagcor boss.
He added: “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.”
Mr Tengco stated that “increased demand” for leisure, travel and entertainment would likely “sustain the growth trajectory of the Philippine gaming industry in the coming years”.
He also said that the agency was currently procuring a system for its online casino platform, to be called casinofilipino.com, “to give Pagcor a significant share of the very lucrative and very profitable online market.”
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