After the Philippines has faced a few tough years, the financial state of the country has been slowly improving. The country has faced a bumpy road of recovery from the massive financial losses during the Covid-19 pandemic, but the local gambling regulatory body remains hopeful that the recently approved casino expansion would give the country a much-needed financial boost.
Like all industries in the country, the gambling sector has also suffered a significant negative impact from the coronavirus pandemic. The local casino venues have been repeatedly closed for extended periods of time, with gambling operators being left literally with no revenue, which also equaled no money in the Philippines’ coffers.
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) has also taken a hit, as it was unable to collect some of the tax revenues it expected from other gambling properties other than casinos, as well as other financial obligations from the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs). It reported losses of about $28 million for the period.
Although it faced extremely big financial losses and its incoming revenue was greatly reduced, PAGCOR seems to be willing to open its wallet again. The gambling regulatory body of the country officially revealed that gave the green light to a measure, under which government entities and cities that are involved in the Casino Filipino network will get $678,543 (or around PHP34.60 million).
As mentioned above, the beneficiaries host venues that operate in the Casino Filipino network and PAGCOR regularly shares a portion of the revenue generated by these facilities with their hosts. However, the gambling regulator was forced to stop the revenue-sharing practice in April 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The routine payments to hosts of Casino Filipino venues resumed at the beginning of 2021.
PAGCOR Contributes Money to the Treasury to Deal with Negative Effects of the Covid-19 Pandemic
As revealed by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation, the support for the casino network hosts comes at a time when the country’s gambling sector is still suffering from the negative impact associated with the Covid-19 closures. The measure aims to help the cities and entities involved in the Casino Filipino network to tackle the negative impact of the pandemic on the local economy.
In 2020, the Bureau of the Treasury received a total of $354 million from PAGCOR as a financial injection aimed at helping the country offset the monetary losses linked to the coronavirus pandemic. In 2021, the contributions have slowed slightly, as the pressure from the Covid-19 crisis has continued but the gambling watchdog is still doing whatever it can.
According to reports, as of 2016 through the end of 2020, PAGCOR distributed over $37.8 million (about PHP1.93 billion) to the hosts of the venues of the Casino Filipino network. The CEO and Chair of the regulator, Andrea Domingo, said that PAGCOR was able to produce revenues and help the development of local community projects by regulating gaming and preventing illegal gambling from setting foot in the Philippines.