Philippines records highest gambling revenue in 2018
The casino industry in the Southeast Asian country of Philippines is a booming one. The Filipino Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) has revealed revenue statistics for 2018 and it has made a record this time. The 2018 Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) in Philippines touched PHP 200 billion (~INR 2,705 Crores), a 13% increase from the previous year, according to Pagcor.
Andrea Domingo, chairman of Pagcor, forecasted that 2019 will also see a huge rise in GGR of around 8.5% growth, crossing PHP 217 billion, which would be another record for the country.
Domingo was quoted in the Pagcor report as saying, “All the integrated casino resorts are doing very well.” Philippines is one of Asia’s top gambling destinations, hosting plenty of all-stakes poker tournaments and series. The country sees Indians in large numbers who flock to the tournaments, going considerably cheaper on the pockets. The casino industry in the country has provided lots of jobs in the domestic market. One factor for such a surge in revenues could possibly be because of the ban on gambling in neighbouring countries, making Philippines the only choice for a lot of gambling enthusiasts of the region.
The competition in this industry has become stiffer in recent times. Countries in the region have been busy liberalizing the industry. Japan recently approved integrated resort casinos, preparing to take a big bite out of the profits flowing from this burgeoning industry.
Currently in Philippines, there are 9 private casino firms which operate 1,580 gaming tables and 9,895 electronic gaming machines, according to statistics. 470 tables and 9,679 gaming machines are opearated by Pagcor itself. The growth trajectory for this industry in Philippines is looking upwards won’t stop and might take over the Asian scenario in a few years.
Philippines’ President Rodrigo Duterte however, is a staunch opponent of gambling. The negative social impact it makes on the citizens are of major concern to the president. Domingo is also planning to meet Duterte and update him on threats faced by the gambling industry and civil projects funded by the casino sector before he makes a bad decision. Duterte had lashed out against casinos previously by saying that there wouldn’t be any new casinos under him.
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