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The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation’s (PAGCOR) net income down nearly 87% to $3.9 million in 2021 as lockdowns continued to restrict casino operations.
The Philippines casino industry was severely hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, with lockdowns and preventive measures still in place during the last year. In comparison, PAGCOR posted $30.3 million in 2020.
The corporation’s total income net of gaming of taxes and contributions settled at $359.3 million last year, down by 9.4% from $396.7 million in 2020. Moreover, expenses, which include contributions to the national government, reached 349.7 million, down 4.48% from 2020.
PAGCOR Chairman Andrea Domingo said that the significant drop in net income was attributable to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the absence of non-gaming revenues. Moreover, the closure of some Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (Pogos) also contributed to the income decline.
“The Pogos missed their target by almost 20% for lack of manpower, a good number closed down and [were impacted by] the slowing down of the world economy,” Domingo said.
It is estimated that about 32 out of the former 60 Pogos in the Philippines have left the country, most of them having already transferred to other jurisdictions.
The Chairman further revealed that, due to the drop in revenues, there will be fewer funds to contribute to government programmes, including Universal Health Care. In comparison, 2020 proved to be a better year for the state-run corporation as PAGCOR was able to accumulate savings from the first three months of the year, in which casinos were in full operation.
Along with results for full-year 2021, the gaming regulator also reported income from gaming operations for Q4 2021. For the three months to 31 December 2021, PAGCOR reported an income of $638.9 million, up 8.8% from the same period the prior year, and up 46.5% from the prior quarter.