Philippines set to lead region in GGR, according to consultancy

Following a quick recovery from Covid-19 disruptions, the Philippine gaming industry may be “competing with Singapore” for the top gross gaming revenue (GGR) position regionally within the next few years, according to industry consultancy GCG Gaming Advisory Services Pty Ltd.

It predicted that the Philippine economy would produce overall GGR of between “US$1.1 billion and US$1.3 billion” in the fourth quarter of this year, with an estimated 2022 total of between “US$3.9 billion and US$4.0 billion.”

In its calculations were revenues from legally permitted bingo halls, electronic gaming dens, and “e-sabong” betting dens, the latter of which involved cockfighting matches broadcast online.

GCG noted that while 2022 was “still not at 2019 levels of US$5.01 billion,” the latter “should be reached in 2023,” and that the Philippines was “quickly recovering to 2019 levels, well before other markets.”

The analysis stated that the Philippines had “fully-open international borders,” a “strong locals market,” and an expat[riate] community that included people from South Korea, mainland China, Taiwan, and Japan.

The Philippines will likely compete with Singapore for the top GGR positions in the coming years, according to the consultancy. “Strong regulations, the introduction of PIGO [Philippine Inshore Gaming Operator business], and new airports in Cebu and Clark all indicate this,” it said. For the entire year 2027, it was anticipated that the gaming market in the Philippines would grow to a GGR of “US$10 billion.”

According to data gathered by GGRAsia, Macau trailed regional rivals Singapore and the Philippines in terms of casino GGR performance in the three months leading up to September 30.

Casino revenue in the Philippines (1)

In the third quarter, the country’s casino industry, which excludes bingo, gaming dens, and e-sabong, generated GGR of about US$860.7 million, according to data from the Philippine regulator, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor). A division of Las Vegas Sands Corp. operated Marina Bay Sands, and Genting Singapore Ltd. operated Resorts World Sentosa. Together, these two casinos in Singapore brought in just over US$788 million in gaming revenue during the same time period. The third quarter’s gross gaming revenue at casinos in Macau was US$688.4 million.

While most Asian jurisdictions have adopted a strategy of “living with Covid-19,” with loosened travel regulations, which has coincided with an increase in the number of inbound tourists, Macau has been implementing mainland China’s “dynamic zero” policy in dealing with Covid-19.