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Philippines – PAGCOR manages to return to profit despite revenue falling

By - 1 August 2021

PAGCOR, the Philippines gaming regulator, was just about in profit again in June despite a 19.9 per cent drop in revenues in its second quarter, compared to last year, with 14.2 per cent fall quarter by quarter to Php14.78m (US$294m).

Profit came in at Php79.1m (US$1.6m), down US$3m from the first quarter but up from a loss of US$31.8m in the corresponding quarter of last year.

All of Manila’s casinos were forced to shut from March 15 2020 and remained shut until June when they were allowed to reopen with a 30 per cent capacity in August.

For the first half of the year, PAGCOR’s revenue fell by 19.9 per cent year-on-year to just below PHP14.78bn. Its expenses dropped by 29.4 per cent year-on-year to about PHP7.99bn in the first half of 2021.

As a result PAGCOR was able to remit P2bn to the National Treasury on July 30, 2021 as additional advance cash dividends. This increases the agency’s total cash dividend contributions to P5bn.

Of the P5bn cash dividend remittances, P4.17bn represents the state-run gaming firm’s advance contributions that may be utilised for future cash dividend obligations.

The agency’s latest remittance was in response to the request of Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez for PAGCOR to remit P5 billion cash dividends in support of the government’s revenue generation effort,: Said remittance will also be crucial in providing funds to address health and economic impact of COVIID-19,

Aside from this latest remittance, PAGCOR earlier released P1.345bn on May 28, 2021 to the National Treasury — only two weeks after it turned over P1.655 billion cash dividends on May 12, 2021.

According to PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Andrea Domingo, the agency remains steadfast in its commitment to pump-in much-needed funds for the government’s battle against the pandemic even if it has yet to recover from huge revenue losses due to the pandemic’s impact on gaming operations.

“As the global health crisis drags on, our government needs more resources to help mitigate the pandemic’s impact. Our prudent use of our funds enables us to continuously aid the government in its effort to create measures that will help the country survive this very challenging time,” she said.

PAGCOR’s Vice President for Finance Group Recto Baltazar, Jr. led the turnover of the agency’s latest cash dividend contribution to Deputy Treasurer-OIC Ed Mariño at the Bureau of the Treasury office in Intramuros, Manila.

Mariño said the latest cash dividend remittance from PAGCOR will further supplement the government’s fund requirements especially with the forthcoming re-implementation of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) status in the National Capital Region and other parts of the country, amid the threat of the COVID-19 Delta variant.

“This latest remittance from PAGCOR could not have come at a better time. As you know, matutuloy ang ECQ and that would mean no funds na naman tayo dahil magbibigay na naman ng ayuda ang gobyerno. As always, we would like to thank PAGCOR for always being cognizant of the government’s urgent need for emergency resources,” Mariño noted.

In 2020, PAGCOR remitted a total of P18bn to the National Treasury for the year 2019. For 2018, the agency turned over a total of P16.17 billion cash dividends.

With its remittances, the state-run gaming firm has been consistently included in the top three cash dividend contributors among other government-owned and controlled corporations.

In other news, PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Andrea D. Domingo, has said she wants a level playing field in the online gaming industry, coming out against suggestions to provide certain advantages to special economic zones offering Philippine offshore gaming operations (POGO).

“Special means special,” she said. “In government there shall be no such thing. All policies, regulations and laws should be uniformly applied.”

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