Andrea Domingo, chairman and chief executive of the Philippine casino regulator, says according to local media reports, that her organisation expects to double in 2022 its gross income from gaming operations, despite a “bad start” this year.
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor) – a regulator-cum-operator – saw its 2021 gross income from gaming operations rise by nearly 8.8 percent year-on-year, to PHP32.63 billion (US$626 million), from nearly PHP30.00 billion in the prior year. The institution’s net income however fell by 86.9 percent year-on-year, to PHP203.57 million, according to data released in February.
Ms Domingo (pictured in a file photo) said that “despite the bad start” in January and February, Pagcor was now “hitting” its targets, having recorded about PHP17 billion in the first four months of 2022. She made the comments during the “Kapihan sa Manila Bay” weekly news forum.
“I think we should be hitting anywhere from PHP25 billion to PHP30 billion by June. So, it would be possible that by the end of the year, Pagcor would have about PHP60 billion to PHP65 billion … which is almost twice as much as last year,” Ms Domingo added.
The Pagcor boss noted that Philippine offshore gaming operators, the country’s casino resorts, and Pagcor slot machine parlours were seeing an uptick in business volumes.
Since March 1, casino resorts have been allowed to operate at full capacity, as Metro Manila was placed under “alert level 1”, the lowest level of countermeasure against Covid-19.
The Philippines has also reopened to foreign tourists, which might assist casino resort earnings there. The national authorities had said in March that the country was to reopen for general tourism from April 1, provided visitors were fully vaccinated.
Banking group Morgan Stanley said in a recent note that the Philippine casino industry gross gaming revenue (GGR) could reach 85 percent of pre-pandemic level by the fourth quarter this year. Factors in favour of Philippine growth included “travel reopening” in Southeast Asian countries in general during the second quarter, “and eased Covid control measures as of March 2022.”
The Philippine casino sector produced GGR of nearly PHP96.54 billion in full-year 2021, an increase of 12.4 percent from 2020.
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