The Philippine casino sector produced PHP45.40 billion (US$910.8 million) in gross gaming revenue (GGR) in the first quarter, according to data released by the country’s regulator. That was down 13.6 percent compared to PHP52.52 billion in the opening quarter of 2019.
The data was published by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor), an operator of public-sector casinos as well as regulator and licensor of commercial-sector venues.
Private-sector casinos based in Entertainment City, a special development zone for gaming resorts in the capital Manila, produced nearly PHP33.46 billion in GGR in the three months to March 31, or 73.7 percent of all casino GGR reported for the period. The figure was however down 16.0 percent from the prior-year period.
National first-quarter casino revenue was negatively affected by the mid-March shutdown of casino complexes in the Metro Manila area, including the large-scale private sector sites of City of Dreams Manila, Okada Manila, Resorts World Manila and Solaire Resort and Casino. They remain shut, due to a general community quarantine currently in place in Metro Manila and due to run at least until June 30.
Private-sector casinos – referred to by Pagcor as “licensed” casinos and including those in Clark Freeport and elsewhere – also produced the lion’s share of Philippine GGR in the three main casino gaming product categories: mass table games; junket play, and electronic gaming machines.
Mass table play – referred to by Pagcor as “non-junket” – in all the commercial casinos rose slightly to PHP16.68 billion, from PHP16.56 billion a year earlier. Junket play in private-sector venues generated nearly PHP10.13 billion in GGR, down 28.0 percent from the first quarter of 2019. Electronic machines produced almost PHP10.98 billion in revenue in the three months to March 31, a decline of 11.8 percent from the prior-year period.
Pagcor’s own casinos – branded Casino Filipino – saw their revenue fall by 19.3 percent year-on-year, to nearly PHP7.61 billion in GGR.
The first-quarter GGR tally for electronic gaming parlours was just above PHP6.99 billion, taking the grand total for all gaming in the period to nearly PHP52.40 billion – down 12.8 percent from the prior-year period.
Licensed casinos in four places in the Philippines that are well away from Metro Manila have been allowed to reopen after sufficient easing locally of the lockdown rules designed to stem the national spread of Covid-19.
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