PAGCOR is expecting a slow recovery helped by pent-up demand.
The Philippines.- Daniel Cecilio, licensing and regulatory group chief of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) has told Reuters he believes gaming revenue in the Philippines will recover to pre-pandemic levels, or surpass them, by 2026 as player confidence slowly returns.
In 2019, The Philippine’s gross gaming revenues (GGR) was a record PHP256bn (US$4.6bn). However, in 2020 revenue plummeted to around PHP100bn due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In 2021, revenue was even lower, at PHP96.54bn. However, in the first quarter of 2022, revenue was up 14.8 per cent quarter-on-quarter, from PHP28.54bn (US$555.2m) to PHP32.75bn (US$ 626.9). The improvement coincided with a relaxation in the Covid-19 countermeasures as casinos returned to full capacity in March.
Cecilio predicts that annual GGR could reach PHP256bn or more by 2026, with land-based casinos contributing PHP146bn. He said the industry’s recovery will be driven by pent-up demand and a return to confidence among domestic and foreign players.
In April, banking group Morgan Stanley had predicted GGR at Philippine casinos could reach 85 per cent of pre-pandemic levels by the fourth quarter of this year.