Andrea Domingo, PAGCOR

Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation Chair Andrea Domingo is placing her hopes on new online gaming initiatives in the country to boost industry revenue this year. 

During a pre-recorded speech delivered at the SIGMA Roadshow on Wednesday evening, Domingo noted that Pagcor’s focus this year will be not only on regulation and enforcement within the gaming industry, but also facilitating “creativity and imagination” in order to bolster industry revenues and profits. 

She pointed to the introduction of “live shots” also known as PIGOs, and e-sabong (cockfighting) this year as examples of breakthroughs in the industry. 

“It’s very important to keep up with the fast-paced shift into the digital landscape. We have introduced ‘Live Shots’ which means online betting but only for VIP players in integrated resorts and casinos. Another breakthrough this year, under demand from the Office of the President is e-sabong. Sabong is cockfighting, and is a national sport in the Philippines and a very popular local gaming activity. With these, we hope to be able to raise $3 billion pesos in revenues this year,” said Domingo. 

This is on the back of struggling land-based gaming operators, which she said are losing an average of 144 million (US$3 million) a day.

Due to the closure of many gaming establishments as early as March 29, 2020, we are losing an average GGR of 144 million a day from the licensed casinos, and 21 million pesos a day from other gaming establishments, she said.

Domingo also refuted findings from Fitch Ratings’ outlook report, which predicted that Covid-19’s impact on Asia’s destination markets would be “less acute” this year due to the distribution and availability of vaccines. 

“Which is proving to not be that accurate because the availability of vaccines are now controlled by the more advanced, first world countries.” 

Domingo also argued against Fitch’s findings that the online segments will continue to enjoy growth, particularly in the event of more lockdowns. 

“This again may not be all that accurate, as lockdowns are getting worse, and we have to grapple with the fact that there are more infections now than before.”

“Therefore we are hoping that local gaming platforms will give the local gaming industry a chance to ride this kind of growth.”