PAGCOR targets US$4.5bn GGR in 2023

PAGCOR posted income of US$1.08bn in 2022..
PAGCOR posted income of US$1.08bn in 2022..

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation forecasts increased momentum for gaming in the Philippines.

The Philippines.- PAGCOR has announced a target of PHP244.84bn (US$4.5bn) in gross gaming revenue (GGR) for 2023 as the “local gaming industry continues to gain momentum”. The target is 33.1 per cent higher than last year’s target and 14.2 per cent higher than actual 2022 GGR.

The state regulator and gaming operator saw better-than-expected performance in 2022 after the end of COvid-19 lockdowns and the opening of borders to foreign tourists. PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Alejandro H. Tengco expressed optimism for the gaming industry’s performance this year.

He said: “Since the lockdowns were eased in the country late last year and gaming venues reopened, customer confidence slowly returned and the attendance in our owned casinos slowly improved. Our licensed casinos likewise recorded a major revenue growth.”

He added: “We will ensure that our plans and programs for 2023 will be generally beneficial to our industries, putting foremost the interests of responsible gaming and of nation-building.”

PAGCOR “seriously considering” privatisation of gaming operations

Meanwhile, Tengco has recently revealed that PAGCOR is “seriously considering the privatisation of all PAGCOR-operated casinos.” Speaking with the press before his keynote speech at the 5th ASEAN Gaming Summit, he said there could be a tender process open to international bidders, and casinos could be bundled together.

Tengco seemed keen to implement privatisation during his tenure, which runs until 2028. He believes the Philippines could rise around PHP80bn (US$1.47bn) from the sale of the casinos. “We are the only regulatory body in the world that operates casinos in addition to regulating them,” he said.

Analysts at Morgan Stanley, however, questioned the mooted asking price of PHP80bn (US$1.47bn) for the 44 Casino Filipino sites and satellite casinos. They noted that more details are needed on the expansion plans for the casinos, including for igaming and electronic payments.

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