Relaxed border controls boost Pagcor income

Revenues of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) soared by 66 percent last year, driven by the opening of country’s borders to local and foreign tourists following the pandemic.

In a statement, Alejandro Tengco, Pagcor chairman and chief executive officer, said the gaming regulator’s total income reached P58.96 billion in January to December, up 66 percent compared with P35.48 billion in 2021.

Tengco said the improved income performance was due to relaxed border controls that boosted the country’s travel, entertainment, and hospitality sectors.

For this reason, Tengco expressed optimism that the gaming industry will continue its growth momentum in the coming years.

“Looking at Pagcor’s upward revenue trend since the first quarter of 2022 up to the end of the year, as well as the recovery path of other gaming hubs in Asia like Singapore and Macau, we are confident that the Philippine gaming sector will be able to fully recover, or even surpass its pre-pandemic earnings soon,” Tengco said.

The biggest contributor to Pagcor’s revenue achievement was its income from gaming operations which reached P55.05 billion. This amount is 68.71 percent higher compared with the P32.63 billion earnings in the previous year.

"Since the lockdowns were eased in the country last year and gaming venues reopened, customer confidence slowly returned and the attendance in our owned casinos slowly improved. Our licensed casinos likewise recorded a major revenue growth,” Tengco said.

With the significant revenue increase, Pagcor’s contribution to nation-building also increased by 51.3 percent to P34.67 billion from P22.91 billion in the previous year.

Of that amount, the lion’s share of P26.15 billion went to the Bureau of the Treasury as 50 percent government share.

Pagcor also allocated P3.63 billion for the government’s socio-civic programs.

Likewise, P2.75 billion was given to the Bureau of Internal Revenue as five percent franchise tax, while the Board of Claims under the Department of Justice received P33.76 million.

The agency also remitted P1.30 billion to the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) as its five percent share and additional P64.39 million as Sports Incentives and Benefits.

Cities hosting Pagcor’s Casino Filipino branches also received P451.72 million.