Asean Gaming Summit 2018 day 1 highlights

Asean Gaming Summit 2018 day 1 highlights

Asean Gaming Summit is back and Calvinayre’s Stephanie Tower brings us the highlights of day 1 at the Conrad Manila, Philippines.

Following its successful launch last year, the ASEAN Gaming summit is back for another run on Tuesday at the Conrad Manila in the Philippines. The three-day conference gathered over 300 executives from land-based casinos, online gaming sector, regulators and more.

The event officially opened with Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) Chairman Andrea Domingo giving her keynote address.

In her speech, Domingo discussed various topics concerning the gambling sector in the country—from Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s moratorium on integrated resortsto the Anti-Money Laundering Act, the Aqua Planet, POGOs and integrated resorts in Boracay. The PAGCOR chair also mentioned the unfortunate incident that happened Sunday at the Waterfront Manila Pavilion Hotel and Casino, where six lives were lost due to afire.

Domingo also emphasized the value that regulating gambling operations bring to the country’s nascent iGaming industry. She explained that by requiring expensive fees upfront, this will eliminate fly-by-night operators that give the iGaming industry a bad name and minimize the use of funds from gaming to ‘bad things’ such as terrorism.

She added that PAGCOR has granted 53 POGO licenses to operators that they believe are the best and the biggest. She also mentioned that the PAGCOR board is open to evaluating and assessing if the corporation will grant more licenses.

For its second year, the ASEAN Gaming Summit gathered the top four integrated resorts in Manila to discuss Entertainment City and its initiatives as a gaming spot and tourist destination.

In an interview with, Okada Manila Managing Director Steve Wolstenholme expressed his optimism on the potential of the Philippines as a competitive global gambling and tourist destination.

He states that the Philippines is going down exactly the right path, noting that “the Philippines has a brand. Manila has a brand, and the brand needs to be enhanced even more.” He also shared that the Philippines should be encouraged by with what’s happening in its neighboring country such as Thailand, which brings in eight times the number of tourists that Philippines has, because it means that there is an enormous opportunity ahead for the Philippines.

The rise of Macau’s VIP gaming revenue continues to impact the ASEAN gaming market. Margaret Huang, research analyst of Bloomberg Intelligence, discussed what the region can learn from this growth.

“ASEAN presents a lot of opportunities. When you look at the VIP segment in Macau, obviously, it’s coming back,” Huang shared. “The potential VIP segment for ASEAN is really the premium mass as well. So, it is a combination of both.”