Filipino gaming numbers suffer massive decline

By Ethan Anderson Updated
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An Asian gaming regulator has reported a 95.7 per cent decline in revenue for the second quarter. 

Asgam reports the Philippines gaming regulator, PAGCOR, has reported a gross gaming revenue of US$46.8 million in the second quarter, compared to US$1.08 billion over the same period in 2019.

The decline can be attributed to a quarantine order shutting down the main island of Luzon in March, which forced casinos to close.

According to PAGCOR’s latest financial information, private-sector casinos generated US$44.6 million in the second quarter, of which US$40.5 million came from Manila’s integrated resorts, namely City of Dreams Manila, Okada Manila, Resorts World Manila and Solaire Resort and Casino.

Junket play in private-sector properties fell from US$34.9 million to US$2.7 million.

PAGCOR’s Casino Filipino properties generated just US$1.8 million, down from US$187.2 million during the corresponding quarter a year ago.

The regulator also reported a US$32.5 million loss for the six months to June 20, down from a net income of US$15.8 million during the first three months of the year, with a near US$50 million turnaround.

Filipino casinos open at reduced capacity

Casinos in the Philippines reopened at 30 per cent capacity in late August, following losses of nearly $300 million in the second quarter. reported in August that the news came from Melco Resorts, owner of City of Dreams in Entertainment City.

On August 24, the Philippine government allowed PAGCOR-licensed casinos in areas covered by the general community quarantine to operate at 30 per cent operational capacity,” the financial release said.

“City of Dreams Manila is preparing for the resumption of its normal operations in accordance with the terms and conditions of this new guideline.”

PACGOR, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation, a regulator and operator of state-run casinos, has yet to formally announce that commercial casinos can indeed resume their operations.

The second quarter results for Manila’s four integrated resorts were dismal, as expected.

Solaire reported a loss of $96.2 million, Resorts World lost $75.9 million, Okada $49.9 million and City of Dreams lost $49.4 million.

The four properties collectively lost $271.4 million.

The Filipino government ordered the casinos to close on March 16.

President Rodrigo Duterte has instructed PAGCOR to allow Manila casinos to reopen, the four operators say it will take some time before they can adjust their gaming floors to adhere to the government’s health safety regulations.

Melco, in addition to its Manila property, owns and operates resorts in Macau.

Other than a 15-day shutdown in February, its casino floors have remained open throughout the pandemic.

Recent decisions to ease restrictions into the enclave have improved business, Melco founder Lawrence Ho said.

“Despite the pandemic-derived travel bans, restrictions and quarantine requirements that had adversely affected the performance of gaming revenues, we are excited to see some early signs of returning to normal operations in our integrated resorts,” Mr Ho explained.

Macau and Las Vegas, the world’s two largest gaming markets, are both allowed to operate casinos at 50 per cent capacity.

A 30 per cent cap is in place in Mila, but that should still ensure there are plenty of gaming positions available.

When running at 30 per cent capacity, Okada has 900 slot machines, City of Dreams has 690, Solaire has 486 and Resorts World has 450.

A total of 420 table games can be offered across the four casinos, despite the restrictions.

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