Casino Filipino Cebu was among the PAGCOR properties that posted strong 2011 results.

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation’s (PAGCOR) total revenues last year reached P36.65 billion, a P5.19 billion or 16.52 percent growth compared to its total income of P31.46 billion in 2010 (US$1 = P43.27), putting the government-run gaming agency on solid ground as it prepares for new competition from the private sector.

PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Cristino Naguiat, Jr. noted that “2011 was truly a record-setting year for PAGCOR. We were able to break our monthly income record six times during the year, and we posted the highest winnings record twice in PAGCOR’s own gaming operations.” The agency began to post record-breaking monthly earnings in May, and ended 2011, “on a high note when we earned a staggering P3.50 billion gross income last December. This is by far the highest revenue ever earned by PAGCOR for a single month in its history.”

PAGCOR’s gaming win reached P25 billion in 2011, up by P3.13 billion from 2010. The company’s previous highest annual gaming income was P23.28 billion in 2008. The results in 2011 were highlighted by two monthly records from Casino Filipino’s own operations-P2.32 billion in November and P2.45 billion in December. The previous record was P2.24 billion posted in August 2009.

Naguiat said PAGCOR’s results were attained through “a more aggressive campaign to improve Casino Filipino’s gaming operations. We also employed a more practical approach to spending for our marketing-related expenses. We are more efficient and cost-effective now in terms of doing our marketing programs, particularly those programs intended for our foreign players.”

Growth also came via other gaming activities such as licensed private casinos, poker clubs, e-games, and commercial bingo. “Our earnings from these operations in 2011 reached P11 billion, which exceeded by P2 billion the total amount PAGCOR earned from them in 2010,” Naguiat said.

Naguiat anticipates tougher times ahead for the state-owned gaming firm because of new competition from hotels and casinos at the Entertainment City Manila project. “Bloomberry’s Solaire and the SM Consortium’s Belle Grande are expected to open by 2013 at the Entertainment City Manila (ECM). That means we will be up against two more integrated resorts with a gaming component by next year.”

Naguiat, however, expects the Entertainment City Manila to do more good than harm against PAGCOR as the project will bring “a million tourists” to the area benefitting all gaming operators and, as regulator, PAGCOR “expect to get substantial earnings in the form of regulatory fees.”