Philippines Looking to Become Asia’s Second Largest Gambling Market

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Alan Campbell

Updated by Alan Campbell

Last Updated 2nd Jul 2024, 04:27 PM

Philippines Looking to Become Asia’s Second Largest Gambling Market

The man in charge of regulating casino gaming in the Philippines, Alejandro Tengco, has asserted his country could soon overtake the city-state of Singapore to become the second largest gambling market in Asia.

The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCor), Tengco told The Straits Times his nation’s aggregated gross gaming revenues for this year are expected to top $5.7 billion. He explained this would represent a sequential increase of 18% and sit just shy of Singapore’s estimated analogous tally of approximately $6 billion.

Optimistic Outlook

Tengco said such revenues could improve even further from next year as the recently-opened Solaire Resort North enterprise from local casino operator Bloomberry Resorts Corporation gains more traction and up to eight new gambling-friendly projects are built.

Although this could well push the Philippines into second spot amongst Asian gambling markets, the nation of 114 million people would still lag well behind Macau as the former Portuguese enclave is currently on course to close out 2024 with aggregated gross gaming revenues in the region of $28 billion.

“If Singapore doesn’t expand, it will plateau,” Tengco said. “Don’t be surprised if next year the Philippines surpasses Singapore.”

Online Omission 

For its part, Singapore legalized casinos in 2006 and currently plays host to the 2,975-room Marina Bay Sands facility from Las Vegas Sands Corporation as well as Genting Group’s 99-acre Resorts World Sentosa development. However, the tiny island nation does not allow iGaming and has no plans to authorize the construction of more gambling-friendly enterprises.

Tengco stated that the Philippines is looking to take advantage of Singapore’s iGaming reticence by building out its own online casino industry, which currently accounts for a fifth of all annual aggregated gross gaming revenues. 

The regulator went on to disclose his organization is additionally hoping to premiere its own remote gambling brand by the end of the year so long as it can find a suitable operating partner.

Craved Convalescence

The Philippines anticipates that its growing selection of casino resorts, which include the 993-room Okada Manila development from Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment Incorporated, will help revitalize a local tourism industry still reeling from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. Tengco disclosed that his country is hoping to attract 7.7 million foreign visitors this year after welcoming slightly over 5.4 million in 2023. 

The Philippines is also home to Melco Resorts and Entertainment Limited’s 938-room City of Dreams Manila development, while Tengco revealed similar large gambling-friendly enterprises costing at least $2.1 billion could soon begin appearing in Manila and the Clark Freeport Zone. The former businessman who maintained such venues may also be authorized for several of his nation’s most popular tourist locales, such as the southern islands of Boracay and Cebu.

“As you open new markets, new customers will come,” Tengco said.

Meet The Author

Alan Campbell
Alan Campbell

Alan Campbell has been reporting on the global gambling industry ever since graduating from university in the late-1990s with degrees in journalism, English and history. Now headquartered in the northern English city of Sheffield, he has written on a plethora of topics, companies, regulatory developments and technological innovations for a large number of traditional and digital publications from around the planet.

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