Cristino Naguiat, chairman of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., has denied speculation that the country’s gaming industry is in a slump. “The revenues are still up,” he told the Philippine Star after several operators posted poor results during the second quarter of 2015.
“This has nothing to do with gaming behavior,” but costs incurred by investors who are growing the industry, said the PAGCOR chief. In the July interview, Naguiat said gross gaming revenues in the Philippines could hit $3 billion this year, a 20 percent year-on-year increase.
The Philippines, like other Asian countries, had hoped to cash in on the exodus of mainland Chinese gamblers who once patronized Macau. A new initiative by China’s Ministry of Public Security, known as “Operation Chain Break,” is expressly designed to keep foreign casinos from marketing to Chinese gamblers. In addition, the weaker Chinese currency could keep some travelers at home, and quench the appetite of even dedicated gamblers.