Philippines to fight off Asian competition

The Philippines has been one of the best-performing gaming jurisdictions over the past five years and is expected to continue to outperform, despite rising regional competition, as the country’s operators expand. The gaming industry seemed to have the odds stacked against it when President Rodrigo Duterte came to power in 2016. For a spell before and after he was elected, Duterte, notoriously ruthless in his pursuit of eradicating the illegal drugs trade, appeared to have similar antagonism towards gambling. However, by July 2019, the President used his State of the Union Address to highlight the record financial contribution of PHP16 billion ($315 million) towards the government’s annual budget by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) As the public watched on, he asked PAGCOR chair Andrea Domingo for “more gambling, ma’am”. Robust growth The industry rose 22 percent year-on-year last year, posting total gross gambling revenue of PHP215.8 billion ($4.2 billion), putting it...

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