The Philippines has seen significant growth in its gaming industry, with a record ₱285bn in gross gaming revenue (GGR) in 2023. This surpassed pre-pandemic levels and marked an 11.2% increase from the previous high in 2019. With the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) predicting a GGR of ₱336bn in 2024, the industry is poised for sustained growth.
The success in 2023 can be attributed to the planned opening of new integrated resorts, with existing resorts already contributing ₱207bn to the country’s revenue. Pagcor chairman and chief executive Alejandro Tengco expressed optimism about the industry’s recovery, stating that it is now poised for sustained growth in the medium- to long-term.
The Philippines is expected to overtake Singapore as the most dynamic gaming market in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region. Expansion in the gaming industry includes the addition of new resorts in different cities and the allowance of citizens to enjoy casino gaming without entry restrictions. The Philippines also has the only regulated online market in Asia and is expected to see growth in online domestic play.
Pagcor is launching a modernization program to increase revenue, including plans to roll out 3,000 new slot machines and modernize table games. The agency also plans to enter the online gambling market with the launch of Casinofilipino.com in the first quarter of 2024.
In a significant shift, Pagcor has announced its intention to move into a purely regulatory role and step back from gambling operations. This transition is expected to lead to the privatization of its gambling operations, aiming to level the playing field and boost growth for other operators. Pagcor hopes to complete the transition to a purely regulatory role by 2025, with plans in place to avoid staff displacement.
Overall, the gaming industry in the Philippines is experiencing significant growth and is poised for continued success in the coming years, contributing to the economic power of the ASEAN region.