Philippines 2015 GGR gains 17 percent, defying regional slump

    Gross gaming revenue in the Philippines reached P130 billion (US$2.75 billion) in 2015, marking an increase of 17 percent from 2014, PAGCOR chair and CEO Cristino Naguiat Jr told the Inquirer in an interview.

    “We showed a big improvement last year despite the business environment,” he said, referring to the 35-percent decline in Macau’s gaming revenue in 2015. Although Singapore has yet to report its 2015 numbers, Naguiat said early indications pointed to a decline of “a few points” for the city’s casino revenue.

    In 2014, Pagcor reported gross gaming revenue for the industry of P111 billion, but the anti-corruption campaign initiated by the Chinese government resulted in a sharp decline in Chinese VIP patrons.

    Industry observers had feared casinos in the Philippines would suffer heavily as a result. However, Naguiat said the local industry had repositioned itself as family entertainment resorts in order to diversify their revenue streams.

    The Pagcor chief was confident the regional gaming industry would be able to recover.

    “The market is not really weak,” he said. “Macau is down 35 percent, but that’s still a very big base in terms of total revenue. They’re still big and they just opened a huge casino named Studio City.”

     “What’s important for us in the Philippines is that we met all our 2015 targets,”.