The Philippines is banking on its casino boom to improve its finances. Even with the strong competition from neighboring countries, the country is expecting record gambling revenue in 2019.
Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp Chairman Andrea Domingo told gambling industry news that the agency estimates gross revenue to increase 8.5 percent from the previous year. Also, she said casino resorts are doing well. As a result, the estimated gross revenue from gambling is 217 billion pesos ($4.1 billion).
The Southeast Asian country is one of the fastest growing gambling markets in the region. It is home to various gambling complexes including casino-resorts from Japan’s Universal Entertainment Corp and Macau’s Melco Resorts and Entertainment. In addition, casinos generate tourism and tax revenues, and jobs for locals.
Record Gambling Revenue
One factor contributing to the record gambling revenue in the Philippines is the gambling ban in various SEA nations. However, the country is facing stiff competition from Vietnam and Cambodia. Moreover, Japan approved the development of casino projects.
The good news is high rollers continue to flock to the SEA nation. Casinos are earning more year after year, as they attract tourists from China and other countries.
Although Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte voiced out his opposition to gambling, the casino sector boomed in recent years. He said that there will be no new casinos during his term. In 2018, the government blocked the plan of a casino resort on a holiday island. They also shelved a multi-billion casino project in Manila.
Domingo said she will update the president about the projects funded by the gambling sector. She will also discuss issues threatening the industry.
At present, operators face growing competition. There are nine private casino operators in the country. Also, PAGCOR operates casinos across the nation. Sports betting is legal but only through PAGCOR’s licensed bookie. The agency doesn’t allow private bookies to set up their own 9DollarPerHead.com operation.
The PAGCOR maintains that the Philippines is a safe place for gambling. The country is more than happy to welcome high rollers from Asia and other parts of the world.