The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) has confirmed plans to launch its first online casino, marking its entrance into the iGaming sector. The iCasino will be available to players in the first quarter of 2024, under the brand Casino Filipino.
As per details revealed by PAGCOR, the online casino will be called ‘casinofilipino.com,’ and will employ virtual reality-based technology to simulate the sights and sounds of a physical casino, aiming to offer a "realistic and immersive" gaming experience.
“It will allow players to interact with the digital counterparts of traditional casino games,” said PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Alejandro Tengco. “It will also transcend physical boundaries and will enable users from around the world to interact and participate in virtual environments.
"It can reach a global audience and can establish a presence in virtual communities of avid gamers. It will likewise offer an opportunity to tap into new markets and diversify its customer base.”
Earlier this month, PAGCOR announced that it would switch to a purely regulatory role, instead of operating as both a regulator and an operator as it currently does. It remains unclear whether the regulator will retain ownership of the online brand in the longer term, or if it will be sold as part of its plans to privatize its properties.
The PAGCOR chief further said that having an online presence will “bring several benefits and opportunities such as increased revenue, extended reach and market expansion, cost efficiency, and enhanced customer engagement.”
In addition to expanding to iGaming, PAGCOR is also currently in the process of modernizing its land-based operations to help sustain growth momentum. “We have already taken the preliminary steps and entered into negotiations with different manufacturers for the modernization of our slot machines,” Tengco said.
“We expect our customers to have a renewed gaming experience as we endeavor to enhance our game offerings by replacing our old machines with a total of 3,500 brand-new units of Electronic Gaming Machines under a lease agreement between PAGCOR and the manufacturer.”
The modernization plan also includes the development of the state-run gaming and regulatory firm’s Information Technology programs and systems to help finetune PAGCOR’s Casino Management System.
“This will play a pivotal role in improving PAGCOR’s casinos in terms of operational efficiency, enhancing customer experience, facilitating real-time reporting and analytics, ensuring security and fraud prevention, optimizing financial management, and streamlining compliance requirements,” Tengco explained.
PAGCOR continued to surpass its revenue achievements after it recorded P36.21 billion total income in the first half of 2023 – a 35.64% increment from its year-on-year figures of P26.70 billion.— Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (@pagcorph) July 20, 2023
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Earlier this week, PAGCOR revealed revenue figures for the first half of 2023 and noted that its revenue had nearly returned to the pre-pandemic levels through the period. Revenue in H1 reached P36.21 billion ($664.11 million), which was up by 35.6% from the revenue posted during the same time in 2022.
PAGCOR also said that the H1 total was only 6.7% short of the revenue it posted in the first half of 2019. It attributed the rise in total revenue to a jump in the Philippine industry’s gross gaming revenue (GGR). The GGR in the first half of 2023 was P136.37 billion, an increase of 48.7% from P91.72 billion ($2.5 billion) last year.