Pagcor sees 20 drop in gaming operations income

The Philippines Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor) has reported PHP14.8bn ($293.1m) in income from gaming operations for the six months ending June 2021.

It marks a 20% drop in figures for H1 2021, compared to PHP18.4bn for the same period in 2020. Net income for H1 was PHP79.1m. The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent safety measures were one of the main reasons for declining profits.

Metro Manila houses close to 20 casinos, all of which have been under lockdown since the start of 2021. Some of the casinos have temporarily closed their doors, while others operate at a limited capacity.

However, the Government is debating whether to strengthen lockdown measures in the area, which would further limit casino operations. Some of the casino operators in the country, such as Okada Manila, even launched vaccination-related campaigns, offering vaccines to the staff.

Pagcor reported that net income for the first three months of the year was PHP152.6m, compared to the PHP777.4m recorded the previous year. Revenue from gaming operations for Q1 declined 51% year-on-year to PHP8.36bn. Authorities reported that since the start of the pandemic, at least 33 POGOs and 200 service providers stopped operating in the country.

Pagcor oversees publicly owned casinos and regulates the country’s casino industry. The Philippine Government is currently planning to introduce some changes into the casino market, including a 5% tax on gaming revenues for all POGOs.

Additional changes would require all foreign employees of POGOs to have a Tax Identification Number and be subject to taxation. The Government would also like to see better personnel monitoring and operational supervision, as well as increase penalties for law-related violations.