The Philippine casino sector produced PHP55.34 billion (US$1.09 billion) in gross gaming revenue (GGR) in the third quarter this year, according to data released earlier this week by that country’s gaming regulator.
The GGR tally for the three months to September 30 was up 20.8 percent in year-on-year terms, showed the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor), an operator of public-sector casinos as well as the regulator and licensor of private-sector venues.
Such commercial casinos linked to Entertainment City, a special development zone for gaming resorts in the capital Manila, produced just above PHP42.19 billion in GGR in the July to September period, up 23.5 percent compared with the prior-year period. It accounted for 76.2 percent of all casino GGR reported for the period.
Entertainment City – spread across 120-hectares (297-acre) of reclaimed land in Metro Manila – is being marketed by the Philippine authorities as a casino cluster meant to emulate the success of Macau’s Cotai district.
There are currently four properties associated with the Entertainment City project. They are: City of Dreams Manila, run by a subsidiary of Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd; Solaire Resort and Casino, controlled by Bloomberry Resorts Corp; Okada Manila, owned and operated by a subsidiary of Japanese gaming conglomerate Universal Entertainment Corp; and Resorts World Manila, owned and operated by Travellers International Hotel Group Inc. The latter property is actually located at Newport City near the Manila International Airport, but for licensing purposes Pagcor considers it part of Entertainment City.
A fifth property is under development at Entertainment City: Westside City Resorts is currently slated to start operations by the fourth quarter, 2022. The scheme is being promoted by a subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Suncity Group Holdings Ltd, in partnership with a subsidiary of Travellers, and with Philippine-listed Megaworld Corp.
Private-sector casinos – referred to by Pagcor as “licensed” casinos and including those in Clark Freeport and elsewhere – produced the lion’s share of third-quarter Philippine GGR in the three main casino gaming product categories: mass table games; junket table play; and electronic gaming machines.
Mass table play – referred to by Pagcor as “non-junket” – produced almost PHP19.30 billion in GGR in the commercial casinos, up 15.9 percent in year-on-year terms. Junket play in private-sector venues generated PHP12.43 billion, an increase of 50.4 percent; while electronic machine play for that sector produced almost PHP14.28 billion, a year-on-year jump of 21.2 percent.
Pagcor’s own casinos – branded Casino Filipino – generated PHP9.33 billion in GGR in the third quarter.
The third-quarter GGR tally for electronic gaming parlours was just under PHP8.03 billion, taking the grand total for all gaming in the period to just under PHP63.37 billion.
The Philippine casino industry reported GGR of PHP160.16 billion for the first nine months of 2019, up 16.3 percent from the prior-year period, according to Pagcor’s data.
As of September 30, Casino Filipino-branded venues accounted for 487 tables and 9,446 electronic gaming machines: 20.5 percent and 44.6 percent respectively of the 2,378 tables and 21,173 electronic gaming machines recorded in the Philippine casino market.
Entertainment City venues had an aggregate 1,576 tables and 9,362 electronic gaming machines respectively up to September 30, representing respectively 66.3 percent of the tables and 44.2 percent of the electronic gaming machines in the country’s casino market.
Last month Pagcor reported income from gaming operations of approximately PHP55.77 billion in the first nine months of 2019, up 10.9 percent from a year earlier. The firm posted net income of PHP4.97 billion for the period.
The Philippine casino industry reported GGR of PHP187.54 billion in full calendar year 2018, up 22.9 percent from the prior-year period, according to official data.
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