HomeTop StoriesPhilippine gambling regulator betting on online casinos

Philippine gambling regulator betting on online casinos

By Neil Jerome Morales

MANILA (Reuters) – The Philippine gambling regulator is looking to grab a slice of the lucrative online gambling market by launching its own e-gambling operations next year to expand its customer base and attract wealthy offshore gamblers, the chief said on Thursday.

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor), a gaming regulator and operator, raised 16 billion pesos ($293 million) last year from the 41 land-based casinos it operates, contributing to the Philippine gambling industry’s gross gaming revenue of 214 billion ($3.9 billion) pesos.

“Online gaming offers an opportunity to tap into new markets and diversify its customer base,” said Pagcor Chairman Alejandro Tengco at the SiGMA Asia gaming conference.

Online gaming represents a huge opportunity for Pagcor, with a global online gambling market valued at $63.53 billion by 2022, projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 11.7% from 2023-2030, a study by consulting firm Grand View Research found.

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An increase in revenues from Pagcor, which falls directly under the Philippine president’s office, bodes well for the Southeast Asian country, as most of its revenues are part of the national budget.

Pagcor’s plan to tap into the multi-billion dollar online gaming industry follows its 2020 decision to allow integrated casino resorts in the Philippines to engage in online betting to help them cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gambling is legal in the Philippines.

There are 32 offshore gaming companies operating legally in the Philippines that mainly cater to Chinese customers.

Manila’s gambling scene, featuring a smaller version of the Las Vegas game strip with integrated casino resorts such as Japan’s Universal Entertainment Corp and Melco Resorts & Entertainment Ltd, attracts high rollers from countries such as China, Japan and South Korea.

($1 = 54.46 Philippine Pesos)

(Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales; editing by Robert Birsel)

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