Philippines’ gambling industry aims to double gross gaming revenue by 2028

The Philippines’ gambling industry is setting its sights on an ambitious target – doubling its gross gaming revenue by 2028. This goal is fueled by the influx of tourists, particularly affluent Chinese gamblers, and the gaming regulator’s chief, Alejandro Tengco, highlighted this prospect on Wednesday.

Tengco noted that at least six new casino projects, collectively valued at around $3 billion, are in the pipeline. These initiatives are strategically positioned to elevate the Southeast Asian nation’s thriving gaming sector, especially in anticipation of competition from countries like Japan and Thailand.

Anticipating substantial annual growth, Tengco projected that the country’s gaming industry could achieve a new record high in gross gaming revenue (GGR) this year. He estimated that GGR could reach an impressive range of  $7.9 to $8.8 billion (450 billion to 500 billion pesos) within the next five years.

While the industry experienced a remarkable milestone with a GGR of $4.51 billion (256 billion pesos) in 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic caused disruptions. However, the sector managed to rebound in 2021, recording a GGR of $3.77 billion (214 billion pesos) in 2022.

Tengco emphasized that the present robust performance primarily hinges on local players’ engagement. He expressed optimism about the sector’s potential to further expand its reach into the foreign market, owing to improved foreign travel guidelines.

Despite the positive outlook, Tengco cautioned about potential challenges that could impact long-term growth. These include geopolitical conflicts, the rise of illegal gambling activities, and economic downturns.

The Philippine gambling landscape, known for its condensed version of the Las Vegas strip in the capital, has effectively lured high rollers from countries such as China, Japan, and South Korea.

This allure has resulted in substantial investments from both domestic and foreign players, leading to the establishment of billion-dollar integrated casino-resorts.

To complement the existing four casinos in the capital, plans are underway for six more gaming facilities across the Philippines. Among these ventures 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 undertaking by Global-Estate Resorts on Boracay island.