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In the third quarter of 2019, Philippines-licensed private casino operators’ revenue rose by one-quarter while state-managed casino operations could not keep pace.

This week, figures released by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) disclosed industry-wide gaming revenue of PHP63.4b (US$1.24b) in the three months ending September 30, almost one-fifth improvement over the same period last year. Market-wide revenue is up 16% to PHP183.6b ($3.6b) for the year-to-date.

Land-based casino revenue grew 20.8% to PHP55.3b, of which PHP9.3b (+2%) came through the PAGCOR-operated Casino Filipino brand. Private-sector casino operations did much better, growing 25.3% year-on-year to PHP46b.

As mentioned on the Calvinayre.com website, most of the private sector growth came via casinos licensed to operate in Manila’s Entertainment City gaming zone, which reported revenue up 23.5% to PHP42.2b. This sum represented a 4.1% rise over Q2 2019.

Private casino revenue resulting from junket operators totaled PHP12.4b, over 50% rise from Q3 2018 but down 5.5% from Q2 2019. Now private operators’ junket-derived revenue has dropped for two straight quarters, from a high of PHP14.1b in Q1.

By contrast, PAGCOR’s junket-derived revenue has dropped 15.5% year-on-year to PHP1.87b. The Casino Filipino brand’s junket revenue has dropped each quarter this year like its private counterparts.

PAGCOR’s electronic gaming locations reported revenue of PHP8b, up almost 13% year-on-year owing to a 14% rise in eBingo revenue, which compensated declines in both electronic games and sports betting.

Speaking about the PAGCOR-licensed Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO), the regulator’s share of this revenue was PHP1.33b, up about PHP100m year-on-year but almost unchanged on a sequential basis.

This year the POGO sector has been under threat following China’s government wanting to see the demise of this business, which mainly caters to mainland Chinese gamblers. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has till now resisted China’s ‘requests’ but the PAGCOR has put a moratorium on any new POGO licenses and the government is warning to levy significant new tax hikes on POGO operations.

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