The Philippines gaming industry is expected to pick up more revenue this year and the next because integrated resorts continue attracting both foreign and local players, as well as the growing contribution from online gaming revenues, said the country's best casino supervisor on Wednesday.
According to Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corps Chairman Andrea Domingo, gross gaming revenue (GGR) for the growing gaming industry is likely to hit P192 billion by the end of 2018. This marks an improvement over the P186 billion forecasted by the Agency for this year.
At the new forecast level, GGR – defined as the net shift between all bets made in the local gaming industry and all winnings paid to players – would have risen 14 percent from the 2017 level.
"Our performance this year is better than expected for both the private integrated resorts and the Pagcor-owned casinos," said Domingo, adding that the gaming industry is also experiencing significant growth in games from foreign players.
The Pagcor boss also predicted that industry gross gaming revenues would increase further to P217 billion in 2019, which corresponds to an estimated annual increase of 13 percent for the same reasons as this year.
At the weekly Kapihan forum, Manila Bay in Malate, Manila, Domingo also insured the public that Filipino workers have no disadvantage in the online gaming sector in connection with the influx of Chinese citizens in the country.
The Pagcor chair said foreign nationals do not take jobs away from Filipino workers because only three quarters of workers employed by game operators are foreigners.
This was echoed by Pagcor Deputy CEO of Online Games Jose Tria, who emphasized that licensed online gaming assistants employ at least one Filipino for every four foreign citizens.
Domingo also said that local jobs given to Chinese nationalities are "distinct", which primarily requires linguistic skills in China's complex languages. While there are philippines who could speak Mandarin, Cantonese or Hockey, she explained that their poems and accents are different from the Chinese mainland.
"You should know the nuances of the language and culture is also a factor, especially when you provide good news and bad news, so that's another kind of expertise," said Domingo, adding that while online call centers in the country are labor intensive, they are The necessary qualifications are hardly met by Philippine workers.
She added that any Filipino who could meet the job's requirements and qualifications would be preferred by online gaming operators, as hiring local talents would help these game strings to save on labor costs.
"It's cheaper to rent locally because they no longer have to worry about accommodation and food," she said. "Now that they are all foreigners, operators have to provide everything and they have to pay higher pay because it's in foreign currency."
Meanwhile, Domingo said that Pagcor and other authorities continue to threaten illegal licensing and illegal online slot machines, which have cracked down 170 such operators in recent months. / JPV
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