Influx of POGOs seen as Cambodia bans online gaming

    2024

    The ban on online gaming in Cambodia would lead to the influx of more Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGO) to local shores, according to property consultancy Santos Knight Frank.

    This will require at least 100,000 square meters (sq.m.) – the equivalent of two-and half large-sized buildings — in demand for office space per year, assuming these Cambodia-based operators secure sub-franchises from POGOs, said Morgan McGilvray, senior director for Occupier Services & Commercial Agency at Santos Knight Frank.

    That will represent about 15 percent of the total annual takeup of office space by POGOs which is about 500,000 sq.m., according to McGilvray.

    “Cambodia will not renew the licenses of online gaming and (those based there) are looking at the Philippines as a likely destination. This will keep the demand from POGOs for office space going,” McGilvray said in a press conference in Makati yesterday.

    There are 60 licensed POGOs in the country occupying 740,000 sq.m. of which 300,00 sq.m. are in the Pasay City area.

    With surge in demand, Santos Knight Frank sees POGOs moving to other areas such as Quezon City and even Clark.

    McGilvray also said demand for office space from business process outsourcing (BPO) will remain robust to 300,000 sq.m. this year although he sees this to less in two to three years as companies shift to areas outside Metro Manila where a ban on new economic zones is in place.

    McGilvray said BPOs are expanding to new growth hubs outside Metro Manila, with 25 percent of employees now in the “Next Wave Cities.”

    Third-party BPOs are typically the first entrants into Next Wave Cities, while captive and shared-services centers (those that support internal company operations) have traditionally stayed within the more developed hubs of Metro-Manila and Cebu.

    Santos Knight Frank estimates at least 360,000 sq.m. of new office supply in Iloilo, Bacolod, Clark, Cagayan de Oro and Davao City, which would provide a wide array of choices for BPO companies looking at regional expansion.