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Pagcor revenue nears pre-pandemic levels in H1

| By Robert Fletcher
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) said revenue returned to near pre-pandemic levels during the first half of 2023.
Pagcor regulatory

Revenue in the six months to 30 June reached P36.21bn (£513.73m/592.64m/$664.11m). This was 35.6% more than P26.7bn at the same point in 2022.

Pagcor also noted that the H1 total was just 6.7% short of P38.81bn in the first half of 2019 – the year before the pandemic began.

The largest portion of H1 revenue came from gaming operations and regulatory fees from licensees. This reached P34.12bn, up 38.0% year-on-year.

Based on its H1 performance, Pagcor chairman and chief executive Alejandro Tengco said the organisation could match or surpass pre-pandemic revenue by the end of 2023.

“Pagcor will certainly ride on the tide of our country’s economic growth,” Tengco said. “As economic activities reach pre-pandemic levels, we are optimistic that we can sustain the gaming industry’s growth momentum as we fortify our regulatory policies to attract more investors in the Philippines.”

Contributions to the Philippines 

Pagcor said the rise in total revenue was driven by a rise in the total Philippines industry’s gross gaming revenue. In the first half, this hit P136.37bn, an increase of 48.7% from P91.72bn last year. 

This meant the organisation was able to distribute more funds to support nation building in the Philippines. Contributions were 48.5% higher year-on-year at P22.62bn. 

Of this total, P16.20bn went to the national treasury as the government’s 50% share. A further P3.61bn went to the government’s socio-civic programmes, while P1.70bn was paid as 5% franchise tax. Some P19.9m was also divested to the Department of Justice.

Other contributions included P810.5m to the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), plus an additional P18.0m in incentives and benefits for national athletes and coaches who won in international competitions.

In addition, cities hosting Pagcor’s Casino Filipino branches received P225.8m.

“Pagcor remits close to 70% of its revenues to the government in the form of direct remittances to the national coffers and through its other mandated contributions,” Tengco said.

Pagcor finetunes regulations

Tengco went on to say that regulatory changes will help to increase revenue further in the months and years ahead.

Among the recent changes at Pagcor are the organisation joining the new Clark Security Advisory Council. This was to support its effort to tackle illegal gambling.

Pagcor has also been clamping down on illegal offshore activity. Last month, Pagcor carried out a raid against Xinchuang Network Technology Inc (Pogo). The organisation decided to infiltrate the operator after receiving information of alleged criminal activity happening at the site.  

“With the finetuning of our regulatory policies, we believe that the Philippines will become a more attractive gaming and entertainment hub both for investors and guests,” Tengco said.

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