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Okada Manila Casino Wants More International Gamblers

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Universal Entertainment Corp, a Japanese gaming conglomerate, has announced that the Okada Manila casino resort in Manila, Philippines, plans to enhance marketing activities. The objective is to draw in customers from various parts of Asia, opening new avenues of growth and expanding its reach.

Okada Manila Go Campaign

Universal, the parent company of Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment Inc, which is responsible for the promotion of Okada Manila, disclosed in its second-quarter earnings report that Okada Manila has initiated the "Okada Manila Go" marketing campaign. This promotional activity includes a weekly drawing for the complex's gaming members in the Philippines, offering them opportunities to win exciting travel rewards. According to the company, the prizes include round-trip tickets to Manila and complimentary hotel accommodations.

The company announced on Wednesday that the campaign is presently limited to the Philippines, but plans are underway to expand it. The future expansion will include gamblers from other countries as well. Moreover, the campaign's objective extends to increasing the recognition of the Okada Manila brand globally.

The company expressed optimism regarding the recovery of foreign visitor volumes to the Philippines, expecting it to continue in 2023. This anticipation is based on the assumption that the impact of the pandemic on travel and related activities will further diminish, allowing for more robust growth in tourism and related sectors.

The Okada Manila resort experienced a sequential decline in its second-quarter casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) of 2.4%, bringing it to slightly more than PHP11.29 billion (US$200.3 million), as reported by Universal Entertainment. However, when compared to the same period in the previous year, the second-quarter GGR showed a significant increase of 36.1%.

In the second quarter of this year, the adjusted segment earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) for the property witnessed a decrease of 7.8% from the first three months. When evaluated on a year-on-year basis, the second-quarter EBITDA marked a substantial growth of 39.9%.

Venturing into Online Gaming

In April of the previous year, the Okada Manila resort started providing online gaming options to domestic customers, operating under the licensing system of the Philippines Inland Gaming Operator (PIGO). During the pandemic, the PIGO business in the Philippines experienced growth as COVID-19 restrictions halted all casino visits by customers. These games are linked to physical gaming machines within gaming venues.

In a recent filing, Universal revealed that a key priority for the Manila property is expanding the scope of online games available within the Philippines. This strategy aims to attract a wider variety of local visitors to the gaming business. The parent company further noted that these efforts are successfully boosting gaming demand in areas of the Philippines beyond Luzon Island, where Manila is situated.

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