Pagcor extends revenue rise streak with help from Pogos, casino income | Inquirer Business
Tuesday 4th February 2020
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. extended a streak of increasing for the government, thanks to the strong performance of online gaming firms targeting the Chinese market, as well as local casino operations.
In a statement, the gaming regulator said it recorded P75.8 billion gaming revenues in 2019, representing an 11.6 percent increase from its 2018 figure of P67.85 billion.
The amount likewise exceeded the agency's 2019 target by 1.8 percent or P1.3 billion.
In 2018, Pagcor recorded P104.1 billion in total revenues. However, of this amount, P36.3 billion came from other income including the P32.7-billion sale of Pagcor's land in Entertainment City to Sureste Properties Inc., a subsidiary of Bloomberry Resorts Corp.
The balance was the agency's 2018 income from gaming operations.
"Among the biggest sources of Pagcor's gaming revenues are the slot machine operations, electronic bingo, table games operations, regulatory fees from the Philippine offshore gaming operations and fees from licensed casinos," the regulator said.
Because of the state-gaming firm's buoyant performance in 2019, it was able to remit over P56 billion to the government through its mandated contributions and other corporate social responsibility programs.
The lion's share of this remittance - P35.9 billion - went to the national treasury as the 50 percent share of the government, followed by the 5 percent franchise tax of P3.8 billion.
Pagcor's other notable contributions to the government were its P1.8 billion remittance to the Philippine Sports Commission, Dangerous Drugs Board (P60 million), and the Board of Claims (P118.9 million), an agency under the Department of Justice which grants compensation to victims of unjust imprisonment and victims of violent crimes.
The state-run gaming firm also remitted P123.3 million in cash incentives to national athletes and coaches who won in international sporting events by virtue of Republic Act 10699. Likewise, cities hosting Pagcor-operated casinos nationwide received host cities' share, which totaled P445.7 million.
The strong collections from the Pogo sector came even after the regulator imposed a moratorium on licenses for new online gaming firms in 2019.
The moratorium was imposed after the last application was received in the middle of 2019, capping the number of legal Pogos in the country to 58, with three more firms waiting for their licenses.
Pagcor chair and CEO Andrea Domingo said the moratorium was imposed to allowed the regulator to study the social impact of the industry, which employs thousands of of Chinese workers in call center-type operations to service online gaming bettors. These mostly Chinese players place bets of as small as 5 yuan on mobile phone-based games of chance.