The Philippine casino sector produced PHP52.52 billion (US$1 billion) in gross gaming revenue (GGR) in the first quarter, according to data released by the regulator.
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor), an operator of public-sector casinos as well as regulator and licensor of commercial-sector venues, did not give year-on-year comparison in its data table, nor did its website carry the prior-year numbers.
Private-sector casinos based in Entertainment City, a special development zone for gaming resorts in the capital Manila, produced nearly PHP39.83 billion in GGR in the three months to March 31, or 75.8 percent of all casino GGR reported for the period.
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 produced PHP16.56 billion in GGR. Junket play in private-sector venues generated nearly PHP14.07 billion; while electronic machines produced almost PHP12.46 billion.
Pagcor’s own casinos – branded Casino Filipino – generated PHP9.43 billion in GGR.
The first-quarter GGR tally for electronic gaming parlours was just under PHP7.54 billion, taking the grand total for all gaming in the period to just under PHP60.06 billion.
Pagcor reported earlier this month net income of PHP1.55 billion for the first three months of 2019, 9.5 percent higher than in the prior-year period. The regulator said total revenue from gaming operations increased by 15.6 percent year-on-year to nearly PHP18.27 billion, compared to approximately PHP15.80 billion in the first quarter of 2018.
The Philippine casino industry reported GGR of PHP187.54 billion in full calendar year 2018, up by 22.9 percent from the prior-year period, according to official data.
A recent note from Morgan Stanley Asia Ltd suggested that casino gaming in the Philippines was “growing faster” than in Las Vegas, Macau and Singapore.
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”Our own consensus is that any newcomers to this [junket] sector should be corporatised, and should be financially sound and able to commit a higher guarantee deposit”
Kwok Chi Chung
President of junket trade body, the Macau Association of Gaming and Entertainment Promoters