elivering the results last week, Cristino Naguiat, PAGCOR Chair and CEO, reported the significant improvement in the nation’s regional gaming industry.
Naguiat said the revenue from both government and private-operated casinos achieved an important double-digit growth last year, despite the business environment. The ongoing anti-corruption crackdown initiated by the Chinese government has resulted in a sharp decline in the number of casino patrons from mainland China across the Philippines.
However, the state-run gaming regulator and operator exceeded its PH$ 109bn revenue target set by the Governance Commission for GOCCs (GCG), which monitors the performance of government-owned and -controlled corporations. Naguiat said the PH$130bn included revenues from junket operations, which otherwise would have been PH$125bn.
“That’s still big,” said Naguiat. “In 2014, our total junket business was only PH$2bn, but we hit PH$ 5bn last year.” According to the head of the body, PAGCOR, it self, generated PH$48.5bn in gaming revenue in 2015, showing a 15.75pc increment from previous year, while the licensees were up 18pc, making almost PH$82bn over the same period.
The PAGCOR chairman also expressed optimism that the local gaming industry would eventually recover from the current downturn. “The market is not really weak. What’s important for us in the Philippines is that we met all our 2015 targets.”
Naguiat mentioned that local gaming industry have been repositioning themselves as family entertainment resorts to diversify their revenue streams, during these difficult times caused by the measures implemented by the Chinese government. Apart from dining and shopping establishments, properties like Solaire now offers a theater, while City of Dreams operates a family-oriented theme park.