Makati office space void to grow as online gaming firms eye city exit

Makati office space void to grow as online gaming firms eye city exit

The number of vacant office spaces in the Makati Central Business district (CBD) may grow next year as online gambling firms leave the financial district in favor of more business-friendly Philippine cities.

A Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) insider, who spoke under condition of anonymity, told that online gambling firms in the city are now looking at other nearby CBDs where it is easier for companies to set up their shops.

Makati office space void to grow as online gaming firms eye city exitThe exodus of online gambling firms in Makati City is reportedly triggered by a row between the city government and operators over the issuing of business permits.

The source estimated that around 120 to 150 gaming businesses to leave Makati in 2018.

If the planned exodus of online gambling firms from Makati continues, analysts are predicting that the void in Makati office space will grow next year.

Early this year, different property consultancy firms warned that the vacancy rate will rise to 6.3 percent by year-end and to 7 percent in 2018 to 2020.

The higher office space vacancy rate is a result of the cooling of business process outsourcing (BPO) investments in the country this year. In 2016, the BPO industry accounted for 65 percent of leased office space with 409,500 sqm. That number dwindled to 268,000 sqm or 41 percent of the total leased office space this year.

Analysts attributed the decline in BPO investments to local uncertainties.

The silver lining of property developers is the online gambling sector, which is filling the void in the office spaces.

The online gambling sector occupies 19 percent of the more than 600,000 sqm that had been either leased or negotiated as of August 2017. From 56,700 sqm, the office space leased to the online gambling sector doubled to 125,000.

Offices of both the BPO and online gambling sectors are concentrated in Makati City. With BPO investments cooling and online gaming firms leaving the city, Makati is predicted to lose millions of revenues next year. tried to get some insights from PAGCOR chair Andrea Domingo but she declined to comment on the issue.

The news agency also tried to get the side of the Makati City Government but the designated spokesman is out on holiday and won’t be available for interview until Monday.