The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor), a state-run gambling regulator, is urging stakeholders to reconsider the financial potential of its chain of retail gambling venues, Casino Filipino. The agency’s chairman and CEO, Alejandro Tengco, predicts that these land-based facilities could generate around PHP18 billion (US$320.9 million) in revenues over the next five years.
Pagcor announced earlier this year that it would be upgrading the existing Casino Filipino facilities to increase their value. Once the modernization process is completed, the network of venues will be offered to potential buyers. Tengco suggests that this move may happen sooner than expected, with the delivery of 3,000 new slot machines expected by January 2024. He believes that the revenue-sharing scheme for these machines could generate at least PHP18 billion in the next five years. The agency also plans to modernize its table games to attract more players and increase revenues.
During a recent iGaming event, Tengco noted that the Philippine gaming sector is on track to generate similar revenue levels as in 2019. He stated, “One year into the term of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., our gross gaming revenues have returned to near the levels of 2019.” This signifies a resurgence in the industry, as the absence of traditional high rollers and junkets has been offset by increased domestic players and new tourists.
Given the strong gambling sentiment and the potential for continued growth, Pagcor may want to expedite the sale of its facilities, which is currently scheduled for 2025. Tengco expects the gross gaming revenues in 2023 to match or exceed the 2019 record. To sustain this growth, Pagcor plans to open new casino resorts in locations like Clark to attract worldwide tourists and gambling patrons.
Recognizing the demand for leisure and entertainment content, Tengco anticipates that these industries will contribute to the continued growth of the Philippine gaming industry in the coming years. Instead of engaging in the sale-off process, Pagcor is looking to upgrade its land-based network and expand its online casino platform to capture a significant share of the lucrative online market.