Although there are only 10 days left in 2021, the biggest news in the Philippine casino market is that the island nation’s brick-and-mortar IRs will be operating at just 50% capacity throughout the remainder of the year.
Of course, it’s not just the gambling floors that will be so limited.
The halved capacity applies also to ancillary markets that make up most of the entertainment venues associated with the Philippine IR experience.
These include meeting and event halls, gyms and health clubs, beauty parlors and salons, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and so on.
Luckily, the recent (limited) legalization of iGaming – aka online casino gambling in the Philippines – has allowed the major brands in Entertainment City (i.e. City of Dreams Manila, Okada Manila, Solaire Resort & Casino, Resorts World Manila) to recoup a bit of the revenue lost to the coronavirus.
But according to Casino.org, the gains from Philippine iGaming have been minimal.
During the first three quarters of 2020 – when the country was hardest hit by COVID and COVID lockdowns – Manila IRs pulled in US $1.1 billion is GGR (gross gaming revenue).
Through the first three quarters of 2021, those same venues – with the help of domestic online casino games (along with slightly loosened coronavirus restrictions) – managed to earn US $1.29 billion.
That’s a gain of just $190 million.
While it’s not nothing, it’s not something to write home about, either.
Naturally, the reason that number is so low is because local casinos are required by PAGCOR to offer their new Internet-based games only to existing VIP customers.
In other words, the audience for legal online gambling in the Philippines is huge, but only a fraction of that audience is allowed to participate at the domestic level.
For everyone else, however, legitimate Philippines offshore gambling sites – such as BetOnline AG, SuperSlots AG, Intertops, MyBookie, and others – are safe and legal to use.
While the Philippine government won’t be earning any tax revenues from these venues, they represent the only safe way to play for the vast majority of the country’s gamblers.
It’s also worth pointing out that even though the current Manila casino cap is in effect through the end of 2021, you should not expect local gambling venues to open up their doors to more patrons any time soon.
With the “omicron variant” picking up steam globally, many nations are entering more restrictive lockdowns than ever in an effort to get ahead of the thing.
As such, it’s not out of the question – or even all that unreasonable – to assume that Manila casinos (and other hospitality industry businesses in the area) – will be shuttered once again for weeks or months as 2022 gets underway.
In any case, the online casino market – whether domestic or international – will be immune from such closures.
And while it’s too early to say whether or not legal online casinos in the Philippines will be the new normal, that’s looking more and more likely to be the case.
PacMac For President: Can Manny Score The Upset Knockout?
The campaign for Manny Pacquiao for President has taken some serious body shots over the last several weeks.
With the emergence of the Bongbong Marcos-Mayor Sara super team, a Pacquiao upset seems less and less likely.
The popular pugilist and lawmaker still has a puncher’s chance, but the popularity of the ticket he’s facing might simply be too much.
Regardless of the outcome, of course, PacMan’s political career isn’t remotely over. While Manny is term-limited in the Senate (for now), he’s high-profile enough to have a governmental impact even as he takes a mandatory hiatus from government.
Also, he’s playing in an exhibition basketball game against Floyd Mayweather in January, which is something that the best Philippine online sportsbooks should be covering with a host of basketball betting odds.
Philippine Presidential Election 2022 – Winner
- Bongbong Marcos -500 (-210)
- Manny Pacquiao +600 (+350)
- Isko Moreno +800 (+600)
- Leni Robredo +800 (+600)
- Sara Duterte-Carpio +4000 (+4000)
- Bong Go +6600 (+6600)
- Alan Peter Cayetano +10000 (+10000)
- Antonio Trillanes +10000 (+10000)
Will Manny Pacquiao be elected the next Philippine President?
- No –1050(-600)
- Yes +600 (+350)