Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation chairman Andrea Domingo painted a rosy picture of the country’s gambling industry, saying that the introduction of its new licenses for online gambling will propel the state regulator’s revenue to PHP65 billion (US$1.3 billion) in 2017.
In her keynote speech before the gambling executives attending the inaugural ASEAN Gaming Brief Summit, Domingo boasted that the state-run gaming firm achieved its highest income in the agency’s history last year when it posted gross income of P55.06 billion ($1.1 billion).
She attributed the 16.62 percent annual increase in PAGCOR’s revenue to the improving market, as well as newly implemented in-house efficiency that made it possible for the state regulator to achieve its highest income in history last year.
“Adding to these advantages are the fact we have introduced many innovations. For example, instead of random sampling of our managerial and enforcement activities, we have strengthened this. We now have 24-hr, seven days a week presence… this yielded us P8 billion more in 2015,” Domingo pointed out.
For 2017, Domingo said they are setting an ambitious revenue target of between PHP62 billion and PHP65 billion ($1.24 billion to $1.3 billion). This, according to Domingo, is attainable as PAGCOR started the ball rolling for online gambling to shore up its revenue stream.
She said that local and international gambling operators have lined up in order to avail the state regulator’s Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) license.
PAGCOR will also bank on the continuing growth of the four major casino resorts in the country, according to Domingo, Citing a study conducted by Research and Market, Domingo noted that the casino gaming market in the Philippines is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 9.93 percent from 2016 to 2020.
“Their study revealed that the integration of the tourism and hospitality sectors became the key trend which propelled the growth of the Philippine gaming sector,” Domingo said. “With the onset of integrated resort casinos at the Entertainment City, the Philippines is becoming at par with its regional counterparts.”
Meanwhile, Domingo assured gambling executives that the Philippines remains a good investment bet in the region amid the political noise created by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s war against drugs.
She took a swipe at Philippine Vice President Leni Robredo for scaring investors away by maligning the Philippines through misinformation.
“We are friends to those who are friendly to us but we are fierce to those who do not obey our laws,” she said.