Philippines gambling regulator PAGCOR is reporting substantial sequential gains for Q1 2021.
The Key Gain
The key figure is PAGCOR's Q1 GGR mark of Php23.27 billion, representing a sequential increase of 17.5% when compared to Q4 2020.
With casinos in Philippines weathering the impact of the pandemic as it affects their region, the various restrictions put in place to curb the virus have posed their own specific set of operational challenges to operators in the Philippines to recover to pre-pandemic earning levels.
Comparatively Strong Gains
Each jurisdiction's operators are in some manner of recovery process, with long-term projections for revenue recovery placing consistent recovery in at least 2022 or beyond, making the sudden jump in the Philippines worth examining more closely—because it indicates that as of Q1 2021 PAGCOR has entered a strong recovery phase after months of struggle.
The GGR figure of Php23.27 billion that licensed casinos reported for the first three months of 2021 represents a 39.2% year-on-year decrease from Q1 2020, a fall off whose proportion is equal to one of the larger fall-offs of any jurisdiction as a result of the pandemic. However, the sequential jump of 17.5% from Q4 2020 is seen as an undeniable sign of recovery from the pandemic precipitated by the 2020 lockdowns that began in March.
When factoring in the GGR of PAGCOR-operated casinos, bingos, electronic games along with licensed casinos, total GGR for the Philippines reached Php30.03 billion, which is down significantly year-on-year from Q1 2020's total of Php52.92 billion.; but up over Php 4 billion from the 2020 Q4 Total GGR figure of Php25.80 billion.
Continuing the Recovery
Continued recovery is fixed by experts to a commensurate rate of vaccination in the country. PAGCOR needs safer conditions to expand IR projects and the cluster of casino offerings to foreigners concentrated in the capital of Manila. More vaccines also means more staff to support licensed online casino operations in the Philippines.
As it becomes available, more data about the anatomy of the Philippines recovery could provide key clues if not a Road Map to all jurisdictions in the region and worldwide seeking to rebound from the COVID shutdowns.