Daniel Cecilio, chief of the licensing and regulatory group at state-run regulator the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor), says he expects the country’s gaming industry revenue to recover to its pre-pandemic levels by 2026 or even overtake this level. That was because player confidence was slowly returning to the sector, he stated on Tuesday.
“Definitely there will be no more lockdowns but bringing back the confidence of players is hard,” Mr Cecilio said in an interview with Reuters. He was the keynote speaker at the opening day on Tuesday of the ASEAN Gaming Summit, taking place in Manila.
By 2026, gross gaming revenue (GGR) might reach PHP256 billion (US$4.62 billion) or better, with land-based casinos likely to contrubute PHP146 billion, Mr Cecilio told the media outlet.
In his speech at the gaming summit, Mr Cecilio said GGR for land-based casinos in the Philippines was expected to reach PHP105.85 billion this year.
The Pagcor executive added that the gaming sector’s recovery would be driven by pent-up demand and the strengthening of consumer confidence among domestic and foreign gamblers, according to Reuters.
The Philippine casino sector produced GGR of PHP32.75 billion in the three months to March 31, up by 14.8 percent from the previous quarter. The tally rose 27.2 percent in year-on-year terms, according to official data.
Andrea Domingo, chairman and chief executive of Pagcor, said in April that her organisation expected to double in 2022 its gross income from gaming operations, despite a “bad start” this year.
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. The institution’s net income however fell by 86.9 percent year-on-year, to PHP203.57 million, according to data released in February.
Several casino industry veterans recently told GGRAsia that Ms Domingo’s ability to balance pandemic countermeasures with maintenance of the Philippine casino industry’s revenues would be seen as a key achievement of her time in office heading the country’s gaming regulator.
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”We are confident that the Philippine gaming sector will be able to fully recover, or even surpass its pre-pandemic earnings soon”
Chairman and chief executive of Pagcor