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Plenty of growth opportunities in the Philippines, but outside Manila and online: Casino Plus CEO

Evan Spytma, CEO of Casino Plus, says there is significant potential for growth in the Philippines, particularly outside of the highly saturated Metro Manila area.

The executive made the comments during a session at this year’s G2E Asia conference focused on emerging gaming markets.

“I think for the Philippines, there’s plenty of room for growth,” Spytma stated in the Macau-based conference. “A lot has been structured around Metro Manila, but even down in Central, there’s still growth towards the South, and we’re in the North [Clark].”

Evan Spytma, Casino Plus
Evan Spytma, CEO of Casino Plus

Spytma noted that South Korean tourists have been the top foreign visitors to the Philippines for the past 13 years, indicating a strong focus on the mass market. However, he believes the Manila market may not solely concentrate on this demographic.

“I should say, (I’m) not sure the Manila market is going to focus on that. And to a lesser degree in Clark. But I think (for) the main population, we still need to focus on the locals, the mass market, even when it comes to slots, you’re looking at some of our most popular slots online, they just love to play PHP0.5 ($0.0085) to PHP1 ($0.017). That’s just a few cents”.

Recognizing the importance of the online gaming market, Spytma emphasized the need for operators to embrace this channel. “You can’t not look at that online market. It’s so lucrative, and the masses are all there.”

He also highlighted the dominance of e-wallets, such as GCash and Maya, in the Philippines banking landscape, stating that many companies in the industry are already integrating their services directly into these platforms.

“These are just e-wallets where traditionally everyone does their banking. And in the Philippines, they don’t like to go to traditional banks, but everyone has a GCash or ewallet app. And then they pay all their bills with it. A lot of the companies in our industry, they’re doing integrated apps directly in those e-wallets. So it’s really easy for the players to come on board.”

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) announced that the country’s gross gaming revenues (GGR) for the first quarter of the year soared to PHP81.70 billion ($1.42 billion), marking an impressive 18.54 percent increase from the same period last year.

Spytma also touched on the overlap between land-based and online gaming, noting that many of their land-based players often contribute to their online offerings as well. “We find a lot of our players who will come to the property, enjoy it, and then and then they can play the game online with us. And they’re very loyal players.”

In terms of virtual games versus physical games, Spytma highlighted Casino Plus’s approach of offering physical slot machines that can be remotely accessed and played online.

“This was one of the reasons why we went live with the physical slots online. So just to give you a perspective, it’s a camera looking at a physical machine, a player can walk in and remotely deposit and play on that physical slot machine at any given moment.”

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Overall, Spytma’s insights paint a promising picture for the Philippines gaming market, with opportunities for growth, embracing the online channel, and leveraging the country’s unique banking landscape and player preferences.

Nelson Moura
Nelson Moura
Editor and reporter with 10 years of experience in Greater China, namely Taiwan and Macau, in printed and online media, with a focus on finance, gaming, politics, crime, business and social issues.



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