How Much Money Do the Philippines Spend on Gambling Every Year?

By  //  October 20, 2021

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Delicious Digg This Stumble This

The Philippines have often been the subject of reports in recent months. The reason for this is above all President Rodrigo Duterte, who can be described as a hardliner in almost every political respect. Once the head of state gets an idea into his head, it is usually implemented under all circumstances.

Duterte’s fight against gambling in the Philippines is somewhat different, and thus quite surprising. For a long time, the president was considered a great advocate of the industry, but now he seems to be resigning himself.

Gambling is to be permitted in Manila and other cities in the Philippines in the future. The president is thus giving up a long fight against the gambling industry in a country that is considered gambling-friendly anyway.

Yet, how much money do the Philippines spend on gambling every year and how’s the situation looking in the country? Let’s find out!

Gambling is Important to the Filipinos

Gambling in the Philippines has a long tradition and like large parts of the Asian population. The Filipinos are a very gambling-friendly people, having spent $30,026,771,615.77 alone in the Q1 of 2021.

This revenue was the industries total GGR, which are PAGCOR operated gambling activities, licensed casinos, and other licensees. For this reason, the country is also quite well positioned and can at least set up a suitable “infrastructure” for gambling regulation. 

In concrete terms, this means, for example, that the country’s gambling authority (PAGCOR) has been in existence for more than 40 years . The authority is responsible for almost all gambling sites that have the greatest bonuses in online casino Philippines, and around 20 land-based casinos, most of which are located in the capital Manila.

The gambling authority’s main task is to check compliance with legal requirements. At the same time, the authority is also responsible for ensuring that the tax revenues of the casinos are regularly forwarded to the relevant state authorities.

In comparison to European countries, Filipinos place a special emphasis on horse racing or cockfighting. The latter are enormously popular, especially among the rural population, and difficult for the authorities to control.

Population Must Decide for Itself whether it Wants to Gamble

The Philippines and its President Rodrigo Duterte have caused quite a stir in the past. For example, some time ago Duterte insulted former U.S. President Barack Obama in the vilest manner. At the same time, the head of state also came into the press because of his bitter fight against drug dealers in the Philippines. 

Duterte has a zero-tolerance policy against drug dealers, and there has even been repeated talk of extrajudicial executions. The president has not been quite as drastic, but has nevertheless been consistent, in his efforts to combat gambling in the country due to the industry’s power.

Allegedly, the president is a great advocate of gambling, in the past Duterte also stated several times that there will be no legalization of the gambling industry under him. However, that is exactly what seems to be changing now.

According to a report in the Manila Times, a renowned Philippine newspaper , Duterte is said to be seeking a change of direction on gambling legalization. The newspaper quotes the head of state as saying:

“In gambling, I will not interfere anymore and I will not participate in it either! I can not control it, really. I will therefore allow it. But that doesn’t apply to extortion and drugs.”

This does not necessarily sound like a voluntary decision , instead it seems that Duterte has realized that the fight to ban gambling can be described as futile. As in other countries, therefore, the following applies in the Philippines: better a regulated, legal market than a non-regulated market in the semi-secret. 

At the same time, however, there could also be some political calculation behind the decision, because Duterte is currently in the middle of the election campaign for the general election. Although large parts of the population support their president, they can also be described as eager to play. This is a topic that could possibly have a decisive influence on the election campaign.

Good News for International Casino Giants?

The change of direction of the actual hardliner is not only likely to cause a stir within the Philippines, but certainly beyond the country’s borders.

In the past, there were at least two major projects that were put on hold by the president. One example would be the “Fall Galaxy Entertainment Group”. The company has officially received a license from the Philippine Gaming Authority to open a casino resort on the island of Boracay. 

So far, everything was wonderful. However, the president then intervened and declared, in principle, immediately before the groundbreaking ceremony, that he would not grant permission for the construction of the casino resort. By no means the only case, and so Duterte did not necessarily make himself a popular cooperation partner for the gambling companies.

Within his own population, the decisions were also viewed with suspicion; after all, the resorts could have created numerous new jobs.

It remains to be seen how the cases surrounding the construction of the resorts might now develop. But the fact is that Duterte has at least opened the door a crack wide for the international gaming industry. Hopefully not only because of the upcoming elections, but because of a real change of direction and rethinking.

Economically, the resorts that are actually almost built should definitely be a horrendous benefit to the country. Tourism, which had definitely suffered a bit under Duterte in recent months, could once again be greatly boosted in a whole new direction. In addition, several jobs and probably also horrendous financial revenues could be planned.