The gambling industry is flourishing in the Philippines. The revenue keeps increasing as more people become involved in the industry. The country’s multibillion-dollar integrated resorts in Manila’s Entertainment City reached total gross gaming revenue (GGR) at brick-and-mortar casinos in the third quarter to PHP55.34 billion, which is US$1.09 billion – a 20.8 % year-over-year gain.
Entertainment City has four majors casino resorts: Resort World, City of Dreams, Okada Manila and Solaire. Together those four properties have reached the GGr of $830 million from July to September, which is approximately 76% of all land-based casino wins. In the third quarter of the year, Entertainment City represented a 23.5% premium increase as on the same three-month period of the past year.
There is also the rest of the brick-and-mortar win from the other smaller casinos, that are located outside of Manila. The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) – the federal gaming regulator reporting the revenue statistics – is also an operator that runs Casino Filipino casinos across the country.
VIP Play Escalates
There is a report made by PAGCOR of the third quarter statistics regarding VIP gaming, which accounted for $280 million. This equals to 34% of all land-based casino revenue. This also shows a 50% increase comparing to the third quarter statistics of 2018.
Junkets, touring groups that cater to high rollers, are prospering in the Philippines. The increase in business is likely because of the suppression of such operators in Macau, the Chinese Special Administrative Region that is the world’s richest casino market. Chinese players are the major clients of the Philippines casinos. They make quite a reasonable input in the general revenue of the casino.
The four integrated resorts in Entertainment City all together had 1,576 table games and 9,362 slot machines during the quarter. The largest venue is Okada Manila, with 392 tables and 2,767 slots.
There also is the fifth integrated resort in the Entertainment City, which is called Westside City Resort World. This complex, which has an investment of several billion-dollar is more of a whole city than only a resort, as it is massive. Macau junket group Suncity announced last month that it had acquired a majority stake in Suntrust Home Developers. This is one of the many companies involved in the sprawling project. Suncity will operate the casino at Westside City and manage one of the many hotels.
Electronic, Offshore Gaming
The Philippines gaming industry is not only known for the variety of land-based casinos, for the e-gaming industry as well. This is the best opportunity for gamers to try their luck on electronic devices. In the third quarter of 2019, the total operating revenue consisted of around $160 million, a 13% bonus.
The amount of e-gaming spots has increased for the last time. PAGCOR reports that there were 606 e-bingo sites in the quarter, 284 e-gaming cafes, and 106 sports betting shops.
The Controversial Player
Finally, there is the controversial offshore gaming operation known as POGOs. The Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators only accept play from gamblers located outside the country, so their GGR isn’t factored into the industry’s total win.
Despite the GGR does not go straight to the country’s account, they still pay taxes on their GGR. POGOs share two percent of their internet win with PAGCOR, and that totaled $26.2 million in the third quarter. Online casino operators paid $2.6 million more to the government than they did for July-September 2018.
China wants the Philippines to limit its licensed offshore gaming businesses, this is due to the fact that gambling is banned in China and Philippines casinos target Chines citizens.
Several comments have been made by the authorities of the Philippines, regarding the revenue, stating that the tax revenue is too valuable for the country. Though, there Philippines Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) has recently concluded that offshore gaming money can not be taxed because of the origin f the money.