The Philippines was put under the spotlight yesterday after PAGCOR chairwoman Andrea Domingo conveyed her hopes for further innovation and creativity in the Philippines’ gaming industry to bolster recovery and revenues – starting with Live Shots and E-Sabong. This is as Philippines Q1 GGR fell 28 percent year-on-year. A note was also made on Macau’s mass-market future, with analyst Vitaly Umansky from Bernstein noting that this will be dependent on the region being able to bring new attractions and products on time. Our focus also turns to Japan, where the pachinko industry is in dire need of a digitized model or face wasting away into obsolescence. To illustrate this, we look at one area of strong growth – which is bicycle racing online betting.
First, the news
- Domingo highlights live shots and e-sabong in 2021 recovery plan
- Philippines Q1 GGR down 28 percent year-on-year, gains sequentially
- Macau regulator term extended for two years
- Studio City gets extension to complete Phase 2
- SJM plans HKD and MOP-denominated note issue
- Suntrust appoints Andrew Lo, David Chua to board
- IPI lays off more than 100 casino workers
- Everi CEO expects 2021 results to beat pre-pandemic 2019
What you need to know
Macau’s mass gaming market is likely to grow in the high single digits from 2022 once the pandemic eases, but growth going forward will depend on the ability to bring new attractions and products online, industry experts on a gaming panel said.”I’ve always been a big believer that Macau is a build it and they will come story, so as long as Macau continues to develop new resorts and features and the border stays open, the prospects on the mass side are exceptionally strong,” Bernstein Research senior analyst Vitaly Umansky said on aSIGMA Manila virtual roadshow. However, the key question will be whether Macau is able to continue to add new attractions.
Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation Chair Andrea Domingo is placing her hopes on new online gaming initiatives in the country to boost industry revenue this year. She pointed to the introduction of “live shots” also known as PIGOs, and e-sabong (cockfighting) this year as examples of breakthroughs in the industry. This is on the back of struggling land-based gaming operators, which she said are losing an average of 144 million (US$3 million) a day.
Japan’s Keirin (bicycle racing) has not been left behind in the nation’s recent online wagering boom. While revenues have been advancing slowly in recent years, in 2020 overall ticket sales jumped to just under JPY750 billion (US$6.9 billion), a 13.6% year-on-year increase. The nation’s 43 velodromes are most often operated by city governments, and the increases in revenues are giving rise to new investments and the expansion of services.
AGB NIPPON WEEKLY
Even before the Covid pandemic it was apparent that the pachinko industry, at least in its current form, possessed a dying business model. Recent events have only accelerated the trends. It’s clear that a new approach is needed and a local newspaper highlighted one possible step in this direction. Kimitsu city-based Oasis Group last month opened what it calls BBQ Oasis, offering a sort of campground experience where an outdoor barbecue space can be used and alcoholic drinks are conveniently available, combining family entertainment and pachinko.
With so much room for development in the Asian markets, Pragmatic Play isn’t resting on its laurels. The increasing acceptance of igaming has seen a slow change in attitude towards regulation, with more and more markets on the cusp of delivering legislative roadmaps, which will truly propel the market to a period of hypergrowth – something Pragmatic Play intends to be at the forefront of.
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