The Philippines is aiming to double its gross gaming revenue by 2028, a goal driven by the rising influx of tourists, particularly wealthy Chinese gamblers. Alejandro Tengco, the chief of the gaming regulator, shared this optimistic projection on Wednesday, citing at least six new casino projects, with a combined value of around $3 billion, that are currently in the works.
Tengco stated that these initiatives are set to boost the Philippines’ growing gaming industry, especially in light of competition from countries such as Japan and Thailand. In light of this, Tengco forecasts that the country’s gaming industry could set a new record in gross gaming revenue this year. He predicts that within the next five years, GGR could reach a range of $7.9 to $8.8 billion.
Although the gaming industry in the Philippines achieved an impressive milestone in 2019 with a GGR of $4.51 billion, the sector experienced disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, it managed to bounce back, recording a GGR of $3.77 billion in 2022.
Tengco attributed the current strong performance to local players’ participation and is optimistic about the sector’s potential for further expansion into the foreign market, especially with the easing of foreign travel restrictions.
However, Tengco also cautioned about potential challenges, such as geopolitical conflicts, illegal gambling activities, and economic downturns, that could affect long-term growth.
The gambling industry in the Philippines, often compared to a condensed version of the Las Vegas strip in the capital, has successfully attracted high rollers from countries like China, Japan, and South Korea. This has led to significant investments in billion-dollar integrated casino-resorts from both domestic and foreign players.
Plans for six more gaming facilities are underway in the Philippines, adding to the existing four casinos in the capital. Among the new projects are a $2 billion casino and golf course complex in Pampanga province, a $300 million project by Bloomberry Resorts in Cavite province, and a similar-scale development by Global-Estate Resorts on Boracay island.
This week, billionaire businessman Manual Villar announced his plans to build two casino projects in the Manila region.
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