Yesterday, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) said that the Manila Bay arm of Casino Filipino cannot stop operating, after the Commission on Audit (COA) noted that the branch has suffered losses estimated to PHP2.113 billion.
According to the PAGCOR, the Manila Bay brand of the gambling operator cannot stop operating because of a deal between Casino Filipino and Vanderwood Management Corporation, which was agreed with the former administration of the country. Apart from that, the Philippine gambling regulator brought more clarity to the situation, revealing that the branch started operation in 2017, and not three years earlier as it was reported by the COA.
The gambling regulatory body of the Philippines shared in an official statement that the Casino Filipino Manila Bay branch started operating less than two years ago, in August 2017. On the other hand, the losses which the COA cited and which were estimated at PHP2.11 billion dated back to 2014, but that was not precise as it also included the Casino Filipino Pavilion’s revenue deficit. Casino Filipino Pavilion ceased operations in March 2018.
The Audit Observation Memorandum of COA, states that the decline in the net income of the entity is due to a combination of falling overall income and a rate of Corporate Social Responsibility financial assistance and mandated contributions which remain pretty much unchanged. As explained by the PAGCOR, the Manila Bay branch of Casino Filipino has been operating on a profit level after the operating expenses and the franchise taxes were deducted. The negative figures are actually registered after deducting the corporate social responsibility financial assistance and the mandated contributions.
PAGCOR Finds Casino Filipino Manila Bay Branch’s Performance Satisfactory
The Philippine gambling regulatory body also made an acknowledgment that the gaming sector in the country has remained competitive amid the expansion of integrated casino resorts in Metro Manila.
According to PAGCOR, the considerable contributions made by Casino Filipino Manila Bay’s branch to the regulator’s mandated beneficiaries should be considered by COA as part of the entity’s profits rather than losses.
The regulator praised the Manila Bay casino branch for its gross gaming revenue which has been subject to steady increase since the branch’s opening. This, on the other hand, resulted in a net operating profit significant surge from PHP4.22 million in 2017 to PHP13.38 million last year.
The PAGCOR revealed that the operations of Casino Filipino Manila Bay would be rationalized, and the branch’s operational expenditure would be reduced in order to make sure that the entity remains profitable and revenue deficits are prevented. Currently, the Manila Bay-located casino is focusing its marketing efforts on developing its operations in the potential niche, the high-roller and VIP table games.
Apart from that, the branch is currently focused on the sublease of its second-floor area to local junket operators as part of its efforts to generate additional revenues. As reminded by the country’s gambling regulator, an income-sharing scheme is being considered, too.