Philippine GGR On Track to Surpass 2019 Levels By End of 2023
- PAGCOR reported a 35.6% year-on-year increase in total income in 1H of 2023
- Casino GGR is likely to surpass pre-pandemic levels by the end of the year
- PAGCOR says flexible gaming laws are helping to boost GGR
The Philippines is on course to surpass its pre-pandemic gross gaming revenue (GGR) by the end of 2023, according to the country’s gaming regulator, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (PAGCOR).
The agency recently released total gaming income for the first half of the year, which shows a 35.6% year-on-year increase. If the upward trend continues, the Philippine gaming sector will achieve full recovery in 2023 following a two-year slump due to COVID-19.
Full GGR Recovery Expected in 2023
PAGCOR generated PHP36.21 billion (US$663.7 million) in total income from January to June, up 35.6% from the same period last year. That figure was just 6.7% short of reaching 2019’s first-half results of PHP38.81 billion, PAGCOR said.
Income from casino and gaming operations as well as regulatory fees accounted for PHP34.12 billion of the total figure, which means they remain the “biggest contributor” to PAGCOR’s revenue, according to the agency.
The latest numbers also translate to a steady quarterly increase in income for PAGCOR. Q2 earnings were up 4.5% from the previous quarter during which the regulator reported PHP17.71 billion in total income.
The increase in PAGCOR’s revenue during the first six months of 2023 was brought about by the surge in industry GGR which hit PHP136.37 billion as of June this year, up 48.7% from 1H of 2022. PAGCOR Chairman Alejandro Tengco said casino GGR is poised to reach pre-pandemic levels or even go beyond by the end of 2023, given the current revenue pattern.
The agency is targeting at least PHP272.74 billion in total GGR for the entire year, higher than the PHP256.49 billion recorded in 2019 before the pandemic. Tengco is confident that the country will attract more investors as the gaming authority continues to improve and strengthen its regulatory policies.
PAGCOR Increases Contribution to Nation-Building
Tengco also highlighted PAGCOR’s growing contribution to nation-building, with the agency remitting PHP22.62 billion of its income in 1H of 2023 to the government. That figure represents a 48.50% increase from the PHP15.23 billion it contributed in 1H of 2022.
A significant portion of PAGCOR’s total remittance, PHP16.20 billion, went directly to the National Treasury. The rest of the funds are allocated to the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, the Bureau of Internal Revenue, the Philippine Sports Commission and other agencies, as well as socio-civic programs run by the government.