Philippines Gambling Market Could Beat Singapore, Become Second Largest in Asia

The Philippines’ gambling market is on the brink of a significant transformation, with industry leaders predicting it could soon overtake Singapore as the second largest gambling hub in Asia.

Alejandro Tengco, Chairman and CEO of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCor), has predicted a potential rise in the nation’s aggregated gross gaming revenues (GGR) to surpass Singapore’s within the next year. This could position the Philippines just behind Macau in the Asian gambling hierarchy.

A Surge in Revenues

Speaking to The Straits Times, Tengco revealed that the Philippines’ GGR for 2024 is expected to exceed $5.7 billion, marking an 18% increase from the previous year. This figure places the Philippines just short of Singapore’s estimated $6 billion GGR, but the momentum may shift in the coming months.

“If Singapore doesn’t expand, it will plateau. Don’t be surprised if next year the Philippines surpasses Singapore,” Tengco confidently stated.

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Expansion and Innovation Driving Growth

The recent opening of the Solaire Resort North by Bloomberry Resorts Corporation, along with plans for up to eight new gambling-friendly projects, is set to catalyze this growth. The Philippines’ strategy includes the development of significant casino resorts like Okada Manila and the City of Dreams Manila, each aiming to attract international tourists and high-stakes gamblers.

Tengco stressed the role of these new ventures in revitalizing the tourism sector, which is still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. The country aims to attract 7.7 million foreign visitors in 2024, up from 5.4 million in 2023 but still lower than the pre-pandemic level of 8.26 million in 2019.

“As you open new markets, new customers will come,” Tengco said, voicing optimism over the anticipated influx of tourists driven by the expanding gambling industry in the Philippines.

Comparing with Singapore

Singapore, a key competitor, legalized casino gaming in 2006 and is now home to prominent establishments like Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa. However, Singapore’s restrictive stance on iGaming and the absence of plans for additional casinos could limit its growth prospects.

In contrast, the Philippines is exploring the introduction of its own remote gambling brand, potentially launching by the end of the year, depending on the identification of a suitable operating partner.


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The Road Ahead

While the Philippines has its sights set on overtaking Singapore, it still has a considerable gap to close to catch up with Macau, the current leader in Asian gambling markets with a projected GGR of $28 billion for 2024.

Nevertheless, the ambitious expansion plans and strategic development of new resorts and gaming facilities show the Philippines’ determination to solidify its position as a major player in the regional gambling scene.

Future projects, including new high-end casino resorts in Manila and the Clark Freeport Zone, as well as potential developments in popular tourist destinations such as Boracay and Cebu, are expected to further bolster the country’s gaming revenue and international appeal.

Given these initiatives, the Philippines is not only set to enhance its economic landscape but also alter the competitive dynamics of the Asian gambling market.

“Our advantage over Macau is they don’t have online gaming,” Tengco told the outlet, suggesting that PAGCor is really serious about launching its own online gambling platform later this year.

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Luigi Caler

Luigi Caler has been writing and editing for various news sites since 2013. He's been with International Business Times for almost a decade. Alongside this, he managed several online casino review sites, including Online Casino Critique and Online Casino Doctor, before joining Somuchpoker. He is well-versed in writing news stories related to casino events, poker tournaments, and sports betting. He also crafts informative and fun-to-read feature stories about poker pros and celebrity poker players.

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