Good morning. Two mothballed casino projects on the Philippines island of Boracay are looking like they’re ready for a comeback after a surprise u-turn from Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte on the issue. We speak to a number of Philippines market experts on the opportunity that this political shift entails.
What you need to know
- The outlook for Southeast Asian gaming stocks has been downgraded to “in-line” by analysts at Morgan Stanley on slow reopening, China drag.
- Alliance Global’s Andrew Tan said his company plans to move ahead with a casino at the Boracay Newcoast mixed-use development.
- Paradise and GKL have both reported improved casino revenue for August compared with the prior month.
- Crown Resorts new CEO Steve McCann says that leasing out the group’s casinos is among one of the options he will consider should the group lose its gambling licenses.
- Japanese PM Yoshihide Suga in a surprise move on Friday said he will be stepping down after only one year in the role.
On the radar
- Mohegan Gaming appoints Jody Madigan as COO.
- NSW gaming regulator appoints Gillian Eldershaw to the board.
- PAGCOR failed to collect P1.4 billion of receivables from POGOs in 2020.
- AGEM Index reached an all-time high in August.
- MGTO expects as many as 30,000 visitors a day during Golden Week.
- Former Tabcorp general counsel of wagering and media joins Senet.
What the papers say
- IPI appeals to U.S. Court over a $5.9m award to construction workers.
- HKJC reports record turnover during season-opening of HK$1.4 billion.
- Karnataka government approves online gambling ban, except online lottery and horse betting.
After President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to lift a moratorium on new casino investment, two groups have already emerged to say they will dust off mothballed projects. Before the pandemic, the Philippines was considered as one of the hottest markets in Asia and was rapidly expanding to overtake Singapore as the second-largest in the region in terms of gross gambling revenue. In 2019, GGR hit PHP256.49 billion ($5.1 billion). However, has the ground shifted for potential investors post-Covid? Is the Philippines still seen as a promising market, or does it risk over-saturation if the government is too liberal with its licenses, resulting in a lower return on investment?