MANILA, Philippines — The gaming industry worked its way to a double-digit revenue growth last year, taking advantage of the government’s decision to relax quarantine restrictions across the Philippines.
According to state-run Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR), its gross gaming revenues (GGR) grew by 14 percent to P113.09 billion in 2021, from P98.8 billion in 2020, but has a long way to go in recovering to its pre-pandemic level of P256.49 billion in 2019.
The lifting of mobility restrictions proved to be crucial in the industry’s recovery as shown by the 18 percent rebound in casino revenues to P88.36 billion from P74.64 billion.
Other earnings raised from bingo operations, electronic games and electronic sabong increased by 28 percent to P16.55 billion. However, gambling activities operated by PAGCOR posted a 27 percent decline in revenues to P8.19 billion.
For casinos, Entertainment City improved its earnings by 20 percent to P78.96 billion, while Clark registered a nine percent growth to P8.73 billion. Only Fiesta saw its revenues sink by 28 percent to P668.89 million.
Prior to the pandemic, the casino cluster generated total revenues of P181.37 billion in 2019 on the back of sustained momentum in Entertainment City developments.
Earnings from bingo operations also went up by six percent to P9.84 billion, while e-games jumped by almost a fourth to P2.99 billion.
PAGCOR also reported that other revenues picked up with the legalization of e-sabong, an activity that brought in an additional P3.71 billion to GGR.
On the other hand, PAGCOR’s earnings from its own games fell due to a five-percent decrease in slot machine revenues to P4.92 billion and a 30-percent plunge in table game receipts to P2.4 billion. PAGCOR’s junket, poker and bingo also recorded declines in their respective revenues.
Although GGR started at P30.03 billion in the first quarter of 2021, it weakened to P21.68 billion in the second quarter when the country reverted to lockdown on the spread of the Delta variant. The industry then gained momentum when the government loosened quarantine restrictions in the third and fourth quarters with GGRs of P26.86 billion and P34.52 billion, respectively.
Industry players, especially casinos, are expected to benefit from the policy to allow vaccinated foreigners to enter the Philippines.
Similarly, the downgrade to Alert Level 1, including in Metro Manila, authorizes them to resume their activities to full capacity for as long as they comply with minimum health standards.