The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp – also known as Pagcor – has disputed claims by a public spending watchdog that Casino Filipino Manila Bay had an accumulated PHP2.1 billion (US$41.4 million) net loss over five years up to the end of 2018.
Pagcor additionally rejected the possibility of shutting down the property, as suggested in a report by the country’s Commission on Audit.
Pagcor is both a regulator of casinos including private-sector venues, and an operator of a chain of state-owned gaming facilities – branded Casino Filipino – in the Philippines.
“Casino Filipino Manila Bay only commenced operations in August 2017, less than two years to date,” Pagcor said in a press release issued on Tuesday.
It added: “The PHP2.11-billion worth of losses cited by the Commission on Audit, which dated back to 2014, was not accurate as it included the revenue deficits of Casino Filipino Pavilion, which ceased operations last March 2018.”
According to Pagcor, Casino Filipino Pavilion and Casino Filipino Manila Bay are unrelated entities.
In its report into Pagcor, the Commission on Audit had said the “aggregate net losses of PHP2.113 billion incurred by Casino Filipino Manila Bay for five consecutive years cast doubt on its ability to continue as a going concern.”.
The spending watchdog added that Pagcor should “devise realistic development plans and strategies to generate sufficient funds” or consider closure of the property in order to “avert continuous losses.”
In its Monday press release, Pagcor pointed out it was “only after deducting the mandated contributions and corporate social responsibility financial assistance… that negative figures are registered” at Casino Filipino Manila Bay.
Pagcor however admitted it was introducing measures to improve profitability at the property, namely by “rationalising” operations, reducing operational expenses and “focusing its marketing efforts on the branch’s potential niche, the high limit and VIP table games.”
The firm added: “To generate additional revenues, Casino Filipino Manila Bay is now pursuing the sublease of its second-floor area to junket operators. Furthermore, an income-sharing scheme is being seriously contemplated for a guaranteed positive bottom line.”
Pagcor also explained in the press release it could not cease operations at Casino Filipino Manila Bay due to an existing service contract entered with Vanderwood Management Corp for the property, signed by Pagcor’s previous management.
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