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PH gaming industry bounces back to pre-pandemic levels, says PAGCOR Chief

Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Alejandro H. Tengco said that increased demand for leisure, travel, and entertainment will sustain the growth trajectory of the Philippine gaming industry in the coming years.

During the RGB Connect Gala Night at the Hilton Clark Sun Valley Resort in Pampanga over the weekend, Tengco mentioned that the lifting of travel and movement restrictions has fueled demand for dining, shopping, and other outdoor activities that were not possible during the pandemic.

“And so, one year into the term of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., our gross gaming revenues have returned to near the levels of 2019, which was the year PAGCOR achieved its all-time high for Philippine GGR levels,” he said.

“Today, we expect the 2023 GGR to match, if not surpass, our 2019 record. Not bad considering that many of our traditional high rollers and junkets have not fully returned, but our domestic players and the influx of new tourists have filled the void,” he added.

Tengco said the future growth of the local gaming industry will also be supported by the opening of more integrated resorts, including those in Clark.

“Clark is projected to become a major gaming and tourism hub before the end of this decade. If you go around Clark, you can see its immense potential.

“You can see the infrastructure in place, the surrounding tourist destinations, and the new buildings and new commercial districts being developed in all directions,” he said.

PAGCOR just revealed its 2024 revenue projections, where the agency said it expects net operating income to reach PHP 61.5 billion ($1.1 billion) in the coming year.

In addition, on the side of PAGCOR, Tengco said the state gaming agency is also embarking on a modernization program to increase revenues.

“We expect the delivery of 3,000 brand new slot machines by January next year. We have an agreement in place with a supplier for a revenue-sharing scheme for these new machines, which we expect to generate at least P18 billion in revenues in the next five years,” he said.

“We are also modernizing our table games by replacing our old ones with new and more sophisticated gaming tables to attract more players and further increase revenues,” he added.

On top of its casino modernization program, Tengco said PAGCOR is likewise procuring a system for its online platform, to be called casinofilipino.com, “to give PAGCOR a significant share of the very lucrative and very profitable online market.”

Earlier this year, Tengco underscored the importance of modernizing PAGCOR’s slot machine operations to help sustain growth momentum.

The modernization plan also includes the development of the state-run gaming and regulatory firm’s Information Technology (IT) programs and systems to help fine-tune PAGCOR’s Casino Management System.

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