Philippines on track to be Asia market leader in 2022

philippines on track to be Asia market leader

Gross gambling revenue from licensed casinos in the Philippines jumped more than 29 percent in 1Q22, confirming predictions that the country will be one of the best-performing markets in Asia going forward.

The majority of the first quarter income came from properties in Manila’s Entertainment City, while casinos in Clark made up around 9 percent of this GGR number and those from Fiesta made up 0.8 percent.
Total industry GGR reached P39.2 billion, rising from P30.0 billion in the prior-year period and P34.5 billion in 4Q21.
The country is one of the few markets in Asia where locals are allowed to gamble and prior to the crisis the economy had been one of the fastest-growing in the region.

“The recovery will be very strong and we expect the GGR to be coming back to 2019 levels by 2023,” said Scott Feeney, executive director of GCG Gaming Advisory Services. “The Philippines offers the perfect broad range of the three gaming destinations of Manila, Clark and Cebu, each having its own diverse attractions and having the locals and the Koreans as its main markets, which as we can see now is far more advantageous than Macau or Vietnam, which are heavily reliant on the Chinese.”

Feeney predicts the Philippines will match Singapore in terms of GGR next year and will potentially overtake it the following to become the second-largest market in Asia.

“The Philippines offers better value hotel, retail and food & beverage offerings than Singapore and in terms of pure gaming Manila, Clark and Cebu could all be visited in one 5-6 day trip offering 9-10 major integrated resorts as opposed to Singapore’s two,” he said.

After a slow start to the year due to the spread of Omicron, the Philippines opened its borders to international travelers in mid-February. The casinos were allowed to open without restrictions from March.

Daily arrivals doubled from 5,000 before February to 12,000 by end-March, according to the Philippines Bureau of Immigration (BIR).

Despite the open borders, operators and market watchers are expecting the majority of demand to come from the domestic market this year due to ongoing flight disruptions and a patchwork of different quarantine and testing requirements on return.

“As alert levels were reduced and travel restrictions were eased, we saw a gradual pick up in business,” said David Lawrence, general manager, casino, at Thunderbird Resorts, which operates two regional properties. “This was particularly noticeable when Alert Level 1 was announced.”

He said so far the response from the international market has been limited.

“We are seeing a slow response in this area but as with other operators we expect this to increase as flight schedules are ramped up and respective country restrictions are also eased.”

The Philippines got a new president in early May after six years under President Rodrigo Duterte, who performed numerous U-turns when it came to the gaming industry. He came to power declaring his hatred for gambling, issuing a moratorium on new casino licenses in 2018 and shaking up the online industry.

However, Covid forced a change of heart as the government sought ways to replenish depleted coffers. He lifted his moratorium and approved an omni-channel model of online gambling, which allowed the country’s casinos and gaming platforms to offer products online. It is the only jurisdiction in Asia to do so.

At the time of writing, the incoming administration of Ferdinand Marco Jnr has not set out its policies towards the industry, although he is believed to be business-friendly and no red flags have been raised.

If he stays the course, foreign investment interest in the Philippines is likely to remain strong.


Why don’t you play at MEGA88 now!
Learn the rules, have more practice.
Your winnings are sure to get right into your pocket!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.