Philippines GGR to reach 85% of pre-pandemic level in Q4, analysts say

The Philippines is currently at its lowest level of Covid-19 countermeasures.
The Philippines is currently at its lowest level of Covid-19 countermeasures.

Analysts at Morgan Stanley predict an opening of borders and easing of Covid-19 countermeasures will help GGR recover.

The Philippines.- Gross gaming revenue (GGR) at Philippine casinos could reach 85 per cent of pre-pandemic levels by the fourth quarter of this year, according to banking group Morgan Stanley. Analysts say factors supporting growth include the reopening of borders in Southeast Asian countries in the second quarter and the easing of Covid-19 countermeasures from March.

In the case of the Philippines, analysts Gareth Leung and Praveen Choudhary, of Morgan Stanley Asia Ltd, said “pent-up demand and election-induced consumption could provide upside to our estimates.”

Although most Philippine casino operators have yet to report results for the first quarter, Morgan Stanley expects the main private gaming resorts in Manila’s Entertainment District to report a combined GGR of PHP27bn (US$515m). That would be an increase of 15 per cent when compared to the previous quarter, and 68 per cent when compared to the first quarter of 2019 before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Casino resorts have been allowed to operate at full capacity since March 1, when Metro Manila was placed under alert level 1, the lowest level of Covid-19 countermeasures.

The Philippines has reopened to foreign tourists, which according to analysts could help boost casino resort revenue. About 265,553 foreigners visited the country from February 10 to April 17, according to the latest government data, the Philippine News Agency reported on Wednesday.

Okada Manila allowed to offer online gaming for Philippine customers

The gaming company Universal Entertainment Corp has confirmed that Okada Manila has soft-launched online gaming for domestic clients from mid-April. It said it has received approval from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (PAGCOR) to operate eight online live dealer tables (six baccarat and two roulette) and 80 online electronic games.

The PIGO (Philippine Inland Gaming Operator) system that allows operators to offer gaming services to players within the country was announced in late 2020 to help the industry after the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment‘s Okada Manila Resort became the first casino in Manila’s Entertainment City to gain approval from PAGCOR.

The company says it successfully completed a period of simulation tests for the collection of casino taxes and licencing fees, anti-money laundering and other systems. It expects Okada to be allowed to run 16 live online gaming tables – 14 baccarat and two roulette –and 150 machines by the end of April.

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land-based casino PAGCOR