The head of Philippines gaming regulator PAGCOR, Andrea Domingo, will ask President Rodrigo Duterte to ease a ban on the issuance of new casino licenses over concerns the country will fall behind in Asia’s increasingly competitive gaming and hospitality industry.
Domingo revealed her plans in an interview with Bloomberg this week in which she stated that she would prefer the President adopt a more selective means of determining whether new casino licenses were to be issued.
Duterte, who has often stated his dislike of gambling, declared a moratorium on new casino licenses in January 2018 for a period of five years and subsequently put a halt to planned IR developments by Galaxy Entertainment Group in Boracay and Landing International in Manila’s Entertainment City precinct.
“Gaming seems to be the sunrise industry now in Asia,” Domingo said. “There are still areas in the Philippines that can still absorb and benefit from these investments, which won’t go here with the current ban.”
Domingo recently stated that she expects the Philippines’ gaming revenue to reach US$4.1 billion by the end of 2019, driven largely by the increasingly strong results of Entertainment City IRs Solaire Resort & Casino and City of Dreams Manila as well as the ongoing ramp of Okada Manila.