State-run Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor) reported net income of nearly PHP777.44 million (US$15.4 million) for the first three months of 2020, down 49.9 percent from the prior-year period. The body saw revenue from gaming operations decline slightly during the period, as casinos in the Philippines were temporarily suspended from mid-March onward as part of efforts to stem the further spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Total quarterly revenue from gaming operations decreased by 5.72 percent year-on-year to just above PHP17.22 billion, compared to approximately PHP18.27 billion in the first quarter of 2019.
The gaming regulator said it paid out a total of PHP9.04 billion in gaming taxes and contributions from that first-quarter gaming revenue. The deductions included nearly PHP8.17 billion directly transferred to the Bureau of the Treasury. Pagcor is required by law to pass at least 50 percent of its annual gross earnings to that national government body.
Pagcor’s total expenses fell slightly by 0.64 percent year-on-year to nearly PHP8.09 billion in the first three months of 2020, according to a financial statement posted on its website on Tuesday. The body reported increases in several subsidies to corporate social responsibility projects during the period.
Pagcor, an operator of publicly-owned casinos as well as the regulator for the country’s entire casino industry, which includes privately-developed venues, said regulatory fees collected from licensed casinos reached approximately PHP6.82 billion in the three months to March 31. Income collected from offshore gaming operators stood at nearly PHP1.81 billion in the reporting period, up from PHP1.34 billion a year earlier, according to Pagcor’s latest financial statement.
Casinos in the Philippine capital are to remain closed at least until May 15, after the government decided to extend the local quarantine to tackle the Covid-19 disease outbreak. The main island Luzon has been in anti-coronavirus lockdown since mid-March.
Pagcor has since March been making additional contributions to the government and to non-governmental organisations to help fight the pandemic in the country. The regulator estimated in late March that it was “losing” up to US$118 million per month due to the quarantine imposed by the country’s government to tackle the spread of the Covid-19 disease.
Bloomberry Resorts Corp, operator of the Solaire Resort and Casino at Entertainment City in Manila, said this week that the group might record a loss this year due to the suspension of casino operations in the country.
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”Our own consensus is that any newcomers to this [junket] sector should be corporatised, and should be financially sound and able to commit a higher guarantee deposit”
Kwok Chi Chung
President of junket trade body, the Macau Association of Gaming and Entertainment Promoters