Gaming regulator sees $2.5 bln revenue in 2013

STATE-RUN Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. Reuters news (PAGCOR) sees gaming industry revenues growing to $2.5 billion this year, driven mainly by newly opened Solaire Resort and Casino Manila, an official of the regulator told reporters yesterday. “Industry-generated gaming revenues this year could reach an easy $2.5 billion from last year’s $2 billion,” PAGCOR Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Cristino L. Naguiat, Jr. said in a briefing at Hyatt Regency Hotel and Casino Manila.

Mr. Naguiat said growth would be driven by an expected increase in revenues of the Solaire Manila hotel and casino complex owned by listed Bloomberry Resorts Corp., which opened last March 16. “As of May, I think Solaire has earned a gaming revenue of about P1.3 billion... Let’s say if they average P1.5 billion a month, in 10 months that’s P15 billion. So that’s already $500 million,” he said. “Solaire will bring the increase in revenues. Even as Resorts World (Manila) also reported an increase in income, bulk of the increase will come from Solaire.”

Solaire Manila, a five-star integrated resort-and-casino complex, is the first of four entertainment hubs to rise at the state-run Bagong Nayong Pilipino Entertainment City in Parañaque City.

PAGCOR has given four groups licenses to build their respective integrated resort-casino complexes at Entertainment City: Bloomberry (Solaire Manila Resort & Casino); Belle Corp. (Belle Grande Manila Bay); Tiger Resorts Leisure and Entertainment, Inc. (Manila Bay Resorts); and Travellers International Hotel Group, Inc. (Resorts World Bayshore).

Mr. Naguiat said gaming industry revenues could even reach as much as $10 billion with the rise of Entertainment City. “When all components are up -- that would be maybe 2017 or 2018 -- we could see that rise, with 90% of this to come from Entertainment City.”

Mr. Naguiat said PAGCOR itself sees higher revenues this year. “From P40.88 billion last year, that could grow to about P42 billion,” he said. “Aabutin namin ang (We will reach the) target this year.”