Philippine-based gambling revenue was up across the board in 2019, with the notable exception of locally licensed online gambling operators.
Figures released by the PAGCOR show gaming revenue either generated or overseen by PAGCOR hit PhP248.5b (US$4.92b) in 2019, a 15.1% improvement over 2018’s results and nearly 41% higher than the market recorded in 2017.
Total casino revenue was up 15.4% to PhP216.4b, with PAGCOR-operated casinos up a modest 2.7% to PhP36.9b while PAGCOR-licensed private casino revenue surged 18.3% to PhP179.5b. Of that latter figure, PhP165.3b (+17%) was generated by casinos in Manila’s Entertainment City gaming zone.
The private casinos reported solid gains across all verticals, with non-junket revenue up nearly 16% to PhP74.5b, junket-fueled VIP gambling up 18.8% to PhP51b and electronic gaming machines (EGM) shooting up 21.3% to just under PhP54b.
The small electronic gaming sites that offer slots, bingo and sports betting to mostly local residents across the country saw their revenue rise 13.3%, most of which was derived from eBingo operations. There were 617 eBingo venues at the end of 2019, 52 more than at the end of 2018, while the number of eGames cafés rose by 18 to 270.
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As for the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO), PAGCOR earned PhP5.7b from licensed online operations last year, down from PhP6.11b in 2018. The POGO sector was a controversy magnet all last year, and this year has shown little sign of those controversies abating, but Philippine politicians have vowed to bring the online sector to heel in 2020.
A total of 471 individuals’ names were entered into PAGCOR’s player exclusion list last year, making gaming options off-limits until they can demonstrate that they’ve got their impulses under control.