The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) is expected to nearly double its gross gaming revenues (GGR) this year following the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, its chairperson and Chief Executive Officer Andrea Domingo said Wednesday.
According to Domingo, the gaming sector opened the year on a negative note given the restrictions imposed in January and February due to the resurgence of COVID-19 cases, but it has since rebounded.
“I think that we should be hitting anywhere from P25 to P30 billion by June, so it would be possible that by the end of the year PAGCOR would have about P60 to P65 billion a year GGR which is almost twice as much as last year,” she said during the Kapihan sa Manila Bay virtual forum.
Domingo said PAGCOR raised over P100 million in both 2020 and 2021, as the agency cut down on expenses such as representation, supplies, per diems, and travel costs.
Under its mandate, PAGCOR is required to regulate the gaming industry, generate revenues for the Philippine government's socio-civic and national development programs, and help promote the tourism industry.
Latest data available indicate that the agency generated about P18 billion in revenues for the year as of April 25, with operations at 90% to 100%. This is expected to climb further in the second half of the year.
Domingo said the agency is also seeking an exemption from the election spending ban, as a resolution of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) orders activities and programs of social welfare projects and services need a certificate of exemption to be able to continue.
“The President no longer asked us for any socioeconomic project funds for this year because he said that we should just give it all to the National Treasury which is what we did,” she said.
PAGCOR earlier contributed P6 billion in advanced dividends to the national government to boost the country’s war chest against the COVID-19 pandemic. — RSJ, GMA News