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Universal’s TRLEI makes gains as tourists return

| By Richard Mulligan
Universal Entertainment’s Philippines casino business Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment (TRLEI) saw a huge rise in revenue during 2022 as takings almost returned to pre-pandemic levels.
Okada Manila

In its preliminary report for the fourth quarter of the year to 31 December 2022, Japan-headquartered Universal said TRLEI posted total revenue for 2022 of PHP37.20bn ($681.7m/€627.3m/£551.3m) in 2022, which was up 88.8% on 2021 and down 12.2% on the pre-Covid 2019.

Gross gaming revenue (GGR) of PHP34.3bn was almost double the PHP18.9bn reported in 2021 when Covid restrictions in the region continued to bite.

The 2022 figure was down 13.8% compared to 2019, the most recent year before the introduction of restrictions.

The Philippines eased Covid restrictions towards the end of 2021 but casinos were closed again at the start of 2022 over fears of increasing cases. The country’s borders reopened in February, although restrictions remained on visitors from China.

For the three months to 31 December 2022, the TRLEI saw GGR of PHP10.5bn compared to PHP7.0bn a year ago.

Within gaming, VIP table games’ GGR of PHP13.3bn was up 38.8% on 2021 but down 32.8% compared to 2019. Mass table gaming, which also includes online, totalled PHP9.3bn and was just lower than the 2019 figure, while gaming machine takings of PHP11.7bn were 13.2% up on 2019.  

Other revenue, including hotel, food and beverage, retail and entertainment, totalled PHP2.9bn in 2022, which was up more than 250% year-on-year and a 10.6% rise on 2019. The PHP1.1bn recorded in Q4 was more than double the figure reported for the same period a year ago.

Hotel occupancy was at 82.1% during 2022, compared to 75.4% in 2021 and 98.1% in 2019. The figure in Q4 2022 was 84.2%.

Adjusted segment EBITDA of 8,611 in 2022 was up 263.0% compared to 2021 and up 25.2% on 2019.

In September 2022, Universal reclaimed control of its Okada Manila integrated resort property after a stand-off with the the company’s former CEO and founder, Kazuo Okada.

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