Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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Philippines continues to lead the way, industry veterans conclude at ASEAN 2024

A group of veteran gaming operators took to the stage at the ASEAN Gaming Summit 2024 in Manila to give their opinions on the growth outlook of the Philippines.

There was no doubt among the esteemed panel that the Philippines continues to show strong growth, but much of it will likely come from outside of Metro Manila. The expansion of Clark and upcoming projects in Cebu will likely cement the country’s position as an IR hub to be reckoned with. In total, the experts agreed that at least five to six more integrated resorts will open in the next years, making the country a very attractive gaming destination.

Moderated by IgamiX Managing Partner Ben Lees, Panellists Hakan Dagtas (COO, Newport World Resorts), Angel Sueiro (COO, PH Resorts), Lorraine Koo (Corporate COO, Dowinn Group), and gaming consultant David Lawrence agreed that the market is growing but still far from its saturation point. Things are, however, getting more competitive and resorts must offer a premium and high-quality proposition to succeed.

Manpower was mentioned as one of the key challenges when it comes to growth, with the industry having to compete with the aviation and cruise ship sectors when it comes to finding and retaining staff. Any local activities must also be well regulated to encourage trust from visitors, a factor the panel agreed is crucial.

The Philippines also offers a great proposition with its unique mix between natural beauty and gaming opportunities. Visitors have more reasons to come and stay here than just a visit to the casino. In this context, the island of Boracay was mentioned, a destination that will see its first boutique resort by 2026. Asked if online play is a threat to land based operators, panellists shared their views that the two more compliment than compete with each other. Both attract a different clientele and different gameplay.

The discussion concluded with a look at the financials in recent times, where the four operators in Metro Manila outdid rival destinations such as Macau during the post pandemic recovery period. A current slowdown in financial growth could be attributed to other destinations upping their game again and local factors such as high inflation, the panel agreed.

Frank Schuengel
Frank Schuengel
Frank Schuengel is an online gambling industry veteran with over twenty years of experience in Europe and Asia. Equally at home in the Isle of Man and the Philippines, he started his career as a sports trader before setting up and running whole operations, and more recently focusing on the regulatory and licensing side of things in the worlds of fiat and crypto eGaming. When he is not writing about gambling topics, he can be found cycling around Manila and advocating sustainable transport solutions for a Philippines based mobility magazine.

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