The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) has confirmed that the country’s gross gaming revenues (GGR) in 2023 reached a record Php285.27bn (US$5.11bn) breaching pre-pandemic levels and paving the way for more robust growth in the coming years.
PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Alejandro H. Tengco said the new GGR record is 11.22 per cent higher than the previous high of Php256.49bn set in 2019 before the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak in 2020 when gaming revenues fell steeply because of movement restrictions. It was also 33 per cent up on last year’s revenues.
“Our 2023 results exceeded even our most optimistic projections, and it proves beyond doubt that the Philippine gaming industry has fully recovered and is now poised for sustained growth in the medium- to long-term,” Chairman Tengco said.
The latest numbers also make the Philippine GGR projection of P336.38bn for 2024 more achievable, especially with the scheduled opening of new integrated resorts this year, according to the PAGCOR chief.
Chairman Tengco said the industry posted an all-time GGR low of Php98.79bn at the height of the pandemic in 2020. The following year, however, GGR slightly climbed to Php113.09bn before nearly doubling to Php214.33bn in 2022, setting the stage for this year’s record-setting haul.
“Last year’s accomplishment is solid proof of the local gaming industry’s adaptability and resilience which translates to PAGCOR’s enhanced ability to fulfill our nation-building mandates,” he said.
Chairman Tengco said the country’s integrated resorts are still the biggest contributors to the gaming industry’s revenue pie with a Php207.48bn take in 2023 followed by the fast rising Electronic Games sector with Php58.16bn.
PAGCOR-operated casinos under the Casino Filipino brand contributed Php19.62bn to the 2023 numbers.
“We are projecting that our licensed casinos from the Entertainment City, Metro Manila, Clark, Cebu and the Fiesta Casinos in Rizal and Poro Point will contribute as much as Php256.63 billion to our 2024 GGR,” he said.
Meanwhile, e-casinos, e-bingo, sports betting and specialty games that together make up the E-Games sector are projected to contribute Php61.75bn in 2024 and should be the fastest growing sector in the next few years, Chairman Tengco said.
“We are really excited with the phenomenal growth of E-Games in the Philippines and this is where PAGCOR will be betting,” he added.