Gross revenue of state-run Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) grew by 7 percent in 2017 on the back of a strong performance by the casino sector.
PAGCOR chair Andrea Domingo announced that the state regulator pocketed “close to PHP60 billion (US$1.19 billion)” in 2017, which was slightly below the target. Nevertheless, last year’s sum was higher than the PHP55.06 billion ($1.09 billion) PAGCOR posted in 2016.
The chunk of PAGCOR’s 2017 gaming revenue came from its 46 casino properties, which raked in PHP22.44 billion ($444.6 million). PAGCOR-licensed casino fees contributed another PHP19.27 billion ($382.5 million).
Traditional bingo and e-bingo licensees gave PAGCOR PHP9.45 billion ($187.58 million), while the state regulator’s share from other gaming licensees such as e-games, poker, junket operations was at PHP5.50 billion ($109.17 million).
Internationally licensed online gambling operators contributed PHP3.14 billion ($62.32 million).
“Although the biggest chunk in the agency’s revenues still comes from PAGCOR-operated casinos, the licensed casinos also contributed significantly,” Domingo told CalvinAyre.com in an e-mail.
On Thursday, PAGCOR held a celebratory cocktails and dinner soirée for its licensees and paid tribute to their social and economic contributions to the country. Among those who graced the occasion were Filipino casino mogul Enrique Razon and neophyte casino operator Dennis Uy, whose company plans to build a $341 million casino on the island of Cebu.
The Philippine News Agency reported that President Rodrigo Duterte reminded the operators in attendance that they may expand their business in the country as long as they shun graft and corruption.
Acknowledging that corruption remains a perennial problem in the country, Duterte encouraged gambling operators to report all cases of corruption directly to him, to his officials, or through the Citizens’ Complaint Hotline.
“Please do not give them [government officials] the luxury of extortion. All you have to do is just you can call anybody in government… And I will take care of it,” he said, according to the news outlet. “All I have to do is for you to cooperate and I said do not give in to extortionist. Be it the police, the BIR, Customs. If I learn that you engage in corruption, I’ll make it hard for you.”