The fruits of a robust online gambling industry are now trickling down to Philippines’ office market, with analysts from real estate consulting firm LeeChiu Property Consultants (LPC) expecting the sector to take up more office spaces this year.
The Manila Standard reported that the online gambling industry is now the second biggest demand driver for office space in the Southeast Asian nation, closely trailing behind the country’s business process outsourcing (BPO) sector.
LPC chief executive David Leechiu estimated that the online gambling industry will take up 400,000 to 500,000 square meters of office space this year. This would account for half of the 800,000 sqm projected takeup of the BPO industry.
“In the last 15 years, the BPO has the office market all for itself. Now, we have somebody also chasing space from the mark and that is online gaming industry and they did this practically overnight,” Leechiu said. “The online gaming industry could potentially reach BPO industry demand numbers within the first year of entry in the market. That’s how big the potential could be.”
The firm estimated that online gambling businesses are looking for at least 10,000 sqm to 20,000 sqm of office space for their operations in the country.
Leechiu pointed out that the online gambling industry has gobbled up 83,960 sqm of office space – mostly in the Bay Area, Alabang and Bonifacio Global City – over the last six months.
Aside from boosting office demand, the consulting firm pointed out that the new industry also contributed to the take-up of residential units in key Metro Manila locations.
He said the trend will continue over the next few years especially now that the state-run Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) plans to grant more licenses for online gambling firms after approving 35 applications for Philippine offshore gaming operations (POGO) licenses.
In her keynote speech during the ASEAN Gaming Summit in Manila last month, PAGCOR chair Andrea Domingo emphasized the importance of POGO licenses to achieve PAGCOR’s PHP60 billion to PHP65 billion revenue target for 2017.
She then told reporters that there will be a second batch of online gambling operators who will be awarded with POGO licenses.