State-run Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor) posted a slight increase in profit during the first nine months of 2014. Net income went up 4.6 percent year-on-year to PHP2.32 billion (US$51.8 million) during the January to September period, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reports citing Pagcor data.
The end-September figure was 0.9 percent higher than the nine-month goal. Pagcor, also the country’s casino regulator, had missed its first half profit target on lower revenues.
Higher revenue in the third quarter and cost cutting contributed to the better-than-expected results for the first nine months of 2014. Operating expenses in the nine months to September 30 dropped by 9.5 percent year-on-year to PHP11.0 billion, the newspaper reported. That was also below the budgeted PHP12.2 billion in expenses for the January to September period, it added.
In the first nine months of 2014, Pagcor remitted PHP15.5 billion to state coffers compared with PHP16.4 billion in the same period last year. That included PHP10.6 billion directly transferred to the Bureau of Treasury – Pagcor is required by law to forfeit at least 50 percent of its annual gross earnings to the government’s treasury bureau.
Pagcor chairman Cristino Naguiat told reporters last week that the firm’s gross gaming revenue would “continue to increase” this year as Pagcor-run casinos attract gamers from the mass market as well as high rollers, the Philippine Daily Inquirer said. Mr Naguiat did not disclose figures.
Philippines media last week reported Mr Naguiat saying that the minimum capital required from any additional casino operators seeking a licence in Manila might be increased to US$1.5 billion from US$1 billion. His comments were made after Caesars Entertainment Corp said it was taking with government officials to open a casino resort in the Philippines.
Pagcor chairman was also quoted as saying the local gaming industry could easily post double-digit growth this year from US$2.2 billion in revenue in 2013.
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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