THE Philippine gaming industry will sustain its growth momentum despite uncertainty in the regulatory environment, according to Fitch Ratings.
In a report released on Monday, Fitch Ratings said it “expects high single-digit gross gaming revenue (GGR) growth in the Philippines as a result of robust economic expansion.”
Increasing international tourist numbers, it added, are likely to boost junkets and ancillary revenue streams at high-end casinos.
Fitch noted that Okada Manila, which started its operations in 2016 and is the largest integrated resort (IR) in Entertainment City, is well-positioned to benefit from these positive dynamics.
It said initial financial results of the first four casinos — Okada, Resorts World Manila, City of Dreams Manila and Solaire Manila — operating under the licenses granted by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) “are encouraging relative to the investments made.”
Fitch expressed the outlook despite its observation that the Philippine regulatory framework is less established than other countries in the region, such as Macau, Singapore, Malaysia and Australia.
That said, the credit rater also discounted President Rodrigo Duterte’s public criticism of gambling, which it pointed out “add an element of uncertainty and may lead to regulatory changes.”