The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) has released its annual report on the gross gaming revenue (GGR) for 2023, showcasing a remarkable rebound from the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The nation’s total gaming revenue reached Php285.27 billion ($5.09 billion), marking an impressive 33.1% increase of Php214.33 billion from the previous year.

Notably, the 2023 figures surpassed those of 2019, indicating a strong post-Covid recovery even more substantial than the rebound experienced by the renowned gaming hub, Macau. While Macau demonstrated a higher year-on-year growth rate, with a staggering 334% increase from 2022, the MOP$183.1 billion (US$22.7 billion) fell short of pre-pandemic levels. In 2019, Macau’s cumulative gross income reached MOP$292.5 billion, highlighting a 37.4% deficit in 2022 compared to the pre-Covid period.

Despite the lingering impact of the pandemic, the growth witnessed in both Macau and the Philippines underlines a resilient market heading towards recovery. PAGCOR had previously declared its return to pre-Covid levels in November, setting a positive tone for the industry. Moreover, the Asian gaming market’s expansion is reinforced by the ongoing development of Japan’s first casino in Osaka and the impending gambling license for Mohegan’s Inspire venue in South Korea.

Breaking down the Philippine gaming revenue for 2023, integrated resorts emerged as the primary contributor, generating Php207.48 billion. Electronic games, encompassing online casinos, bingo, and sports betting, followed closely with a revenue of Php58.16 billion.

Alejandro Tengco, Chairman and CEO at PAGCOR, commented on the impressive results, remarking, “Our 2023 results exceeded even our most optimistic projections and it proves beyond doubt that the Philippine gaming industry has fully recovered and is now poised for sustained growth in the medium- to long-term.”

As indicated by PAGCOR, the anticipated growth for 2024 is expected to reach Php336.38 billion. Tengco further elucidated, stating, “We are projecting that our licensed casinos from the Entertainment City, Metro Manila, Clark, Cebu and the Fiesta Casinos in Rizal and Poro Point will contribute as much as Php256.63 billion to our 2024 GGR.” 

Additionally, PAGCOR also anticipates the e-games sector, comprising online casinos, bingo, and sports betting, to play a significant role in the industry’s expansion, with an expected revenue of Php61.75 billion in 2024. The optimistic projections further underscore the resilience and vitality of the Philippine gaming sector as it charts a path towards sustained growth.

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