The Philippines Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) has reported a 5.7% drop in income from gaming operations for the first three months of 2020, and with costs not declining as quickly as revenue, profits for the quarter fell by almost 50%.
Total income from gaming operators amounted to PHP17.22bn (£271.0m/€311.9m/$340.9m) for the quarter ended 31 March 2020, down from PHP18.27bn in the prior year.
The decline comes after the country’s casinos were shut down to slow the spread of novel coronavirus (Covid-19) from 15 March. This was extended to cover Philippines Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) from 18 March.
Of this Q1 income, PHP861.1m was paid to the Bureau of Internal Revenue through the 5% franchise tax imposed on operators.
The government’s 50% share of income amounted to PHP8.17bn, down 5.7%, while the Dangerous Drugs Board was granted PHP15m.
This left PHP8.18bn, down 5.8%, while PAGCOR reported a further PHP202.9m from related services and PHP481.8m in other income, for net revenue of PHP8.87bn, down 8.5% from Q1 2019.
Despite this decline in revenue, total expenses only fell marginally to PHP8.09bn. Personal expenses, comprising staff-related costs, amounted to PHP1.92bn, with maintenance costs and other operating expenses declining to PHP1.40bn.
PAGCOR also paid out PHP4.38bn to corporate social responsibility projects. A further PHP409.0m went to the Philippine Sports Commission and PHP8.6m to the Department of Justice’s Board of Claims.
This left a net profit of PHP777.4m for the quarter, down 49.9% year-over-year.
It remains to be seen when the Philippines' casinos – and igaming operators – will be permitted to resume business, with the restrictions announced from 15 March recently extended to 15 May.
In March PAGCOR chair and chief executive Andrea Domingo estimated that the closure was costing the regulatory body up to PHP6bn per month.
PAGCOR has donated upwards of PHP20.5bn to the Philippines government's efforts to tackle the crisis.