The Philippine casino industry reported gross gaming revenue (GGR) of PHP152.55 billion (US$2.9 billion) in full calendar 2017, up by 13.8 percent from the prior-year period, said the country’s gaming regulator.
Private-sector casino resorts in the Philippine capital Manila recorded overall GGR of PHP109.38 billion in 2017, an increase of 25.6 percent compared to PHP87.10 billion in the previous 12 months, according to data released this week by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor).
Manila’s private-sector casino resort sector includes four properties, namely: City of Dreams Manila, run by a subsidiary of Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd; Solaire Resort and Casino, controlled by Bloomberry Resorts Corp; Resorts World Manila, owned and operated by Travellers International Hotel Group Inc, a venture between Philippine-based Alliance Global Group Inc and Genting Hong Kong Ltd; and Okada Manila, owned and operated by Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment Inc, a subsidiary of Japanese gaming conglomerate Universal Entertainment Corp.
The data showed GGR generated by the casino junket segment stood at PHP41.75 billion for full 2017, representing 27.4 percent of total casino GGR for the period. The majority of junket-generated casino GGR was recorded in the private-sector casinos – a total of PHP33.58 billion – rather than the Pagcor-run ones.
In 2017, “non-junket” GGR represented 39.2 percent of the total, while electronic gaming machines claimed a market share of 33.4 percent.
Last year, revenue from electronic gaming sites – including traditional bingo, electronic games and sports betting – reached PHP23.63 billion.
Starting from the third quarter of 2017, the regulator began compiling data for “offshore gaming”. The sector achieved GGR of PHP319 million in the second half of the year.
State-owned Pagcor started accepting applications from companies wishing to acquire a Philippines licence for offshore gaming in September 2016.
Aside from being the sector’s regulator, Pagcor directly operates a suite of state-run casinos. Its own brand of casinos is called “Casino Filipino”. According to the latter’s website, the brand operates venues in 8 locations across the country, and has a further 34 so-called “satellite” sites across the Philippines.
Pagcor casinos reported GGR of PHP34.38 billion in 2017, up by 8.0 percent in year-on-year terms, show the firm’s latest data.
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"If the [Macau casino] concessions are put up for bid, there will also be a lot of giant Chinese companies, some having nothing to do with gaming, which would like to take over these enormously successful casinos”
Professor emeritus at Whittier Law School in California, in the United States, and a visiting professor at University of Macau