March 15, 2024 2 min read


The Philippines Is Poised to Surpass Singapore’s Gaming Industry, PAGCOR Chief Says

The Singaporean Gambling Regulatory Authority preferred not to comment on the matter

The Philippines is bullish on overtaking Singapore and becoming the second-largest destination for gambling tourism in Asia after Macau. This sentiment was expressed by Alejandro Tengco, chair & CEO of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).

Tengco commented on the matter during a Tuesday interview and pointed out that the rapid expansion of the Philippines’ gaming industry is something its competitors should keep in mind. According to him, if Singapore doesn’t expand, its gambling sector “will plateau.” Tengco is convinced that the Philippines is well-positioned to surpass Singapore as things stand now.

For reference, the Philippine gaming industry is expected to reach GGR levels of approximately $6.1 billion in 2024. For comparison, Tengco believes that Singapore’s annual GGR will stand at roughly $6 billion.

Bloomberg contacted the Singaporean Gambling Regulatory Authority, which preferred not to comment on the matter.

The Resorts Are a Major Driver of Tourism

The Philippines’ integrated resorts are very reliant on tourism for their revenues. Luckily, the recent decline in visitation from China was offset by the opening of new integrated resorts, which greatly bolstered tourism. A new major resort by Bloomberry Resorts Corp. is expected to welcome its first guests this year, attracting more people to the Philippines.

Visitation from Chinese nationals declined to 15% of the pre-pandemic levels amid tension between the island nation and China. Despite that, Tengco noted that Chinese high rollers are still coming to the Philippines to play.

Manila’s integrated resorts hope to attract some 7.7 million foreign visitors this year alone. This would be a significant increase from the 5.45 tourists in 2023 but would still lag behind the pre-pandemic visitation rates.

Tengco is certain that the expansion of the Philippines’ gambling industry is going to channel more players toward the country. Manila is hoping to attract more visitors from Asian countries other than China, including Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea.

In the meantime, the Philippines is also expanding its iGaming industry, which was responsible for roughly 20% of the 2023 GGR. While it still has catching up to do, experts believe that its growth will be faster. Tengco is counting on that, since Macau, the biggest gambling hub in Asia, is yet to greenlight online casino gaming.

In the meantime, the PAGCOR is preparing to divest its casino assets and focus on its regulatory functions, hoping to inspire more confidence in the Philippine gaming sector and avoid potential conflicts of interest.


Although Fiona doesn't have a long-spanning background within the gambling industry, she is an incredibly skilled journalist who has built a strong interest in the constantly growing iGaming network. The team at is glad to have her on our roster to help deliver the best stories as soon as they hit. Aside from writing, she loves to dabble in online casino games such as slots and roulette, both for her own enjoyment and also as research to better improve her understanding of the industry.

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