The Philippines Targets Top Spot in Asia’s Gambling Scene

Alejandro Tengco, the head of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), has declared the Philippines’ ambition to outshine Singapore in the gambling tourism sector, aiming to secure the position as Asia’s second-biggest gambling destination, trailing only behind Macau. During a recent interview, Tengco emphasized the Philippines’ swift growth in the gaming industry, cautioning that Singapore’s gambling revenue might stagnate if it fails to expand.

Projected to generate a Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) of around $6.1 billion in 2024, the Philippine gaming industry is on the brink of surpassing Singapore, which Tengco estimates will have a GGR of about $6 billion. This growth is attributed largely to the country’s integrated resorts, which rely heavily on tourism for income. Despite a decrease in Chinese visitors, which fell to 15% of pre-pandemic figures due to diplomatic tensions, the opening of new resorts has compensated for this loss. Notably, a new development by Bloomberry Resorts Corp. is set to open its doors later this year, further boosting tourist numbers.

Even with the reduced number of visitors from China, Tengco pointed out that the appeal of the Philippines to high rollers from China remains strong. Moreover, Manila’s integrated resorts are not just looking at China for tourists; they aim to draw a broader international crowd, targeting around 7.7 million foreign visitors in the current year, an increase from 5.45 million in 2023, although still below pre-pandemic levels.

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