The head of Philippines gaming regulator PAGCOR, Andrea Domingo, has tipped the country’s gross gaming revenue to reach Php217 billion (US$4.1 billion) by the end of 2019.
Speaking to reporters at the government’s weekly Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum, Domingo said that projections for the current year have nation-wide GGR from the land-based and online sectors combined on track to track to reach Php192 billion (US$3.67 billion) in 2018 – a 14% increase on 2017 numbers and higher than the previously forecast Php186 billion.
“Our performance this year is better than expected for both the private integrated resorts and the Pagcor-owned casinos,” she stated.
However, 2019 looks even more impressive with another 13% increase expected – pushing GGR up over US$4 billion for the first time.
The figure includes both government-run and privately owned land-based operations as well as the online sector.
Domingo recently told Inside Asian Gaming that the planned sale of PAGCOR-operated casinos had been put on hold due to the rapidly growing revenues they were generating for the government.
“You know, [the PAGCOR casinos] are holding up quite well,” she said in August. “Last year they contributed Php22 billion (US$405.5 million) to our Php60 billion earnings and this year we’re looking at about Php26 billion to Php27 billion.
Asked if that meant PAGCOR would instead continue as both an operator and a regulator, Domingo said, “I think for the next few years, because they’re still profitable – because the PAGCOR owned and operated casinos, the GGR they yield goes directly to the government, 100%.
“With the IRs, our share of the GGR is about 19.5% so if you look into that and the contribution to the national government every year, if you take this out it will take five years for a new IR to contribute that amount which automatically lessens our net contribution to the national government by Php22 billion for at least for the next 10 years.”