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Pagcor’s 2020 net income plummets by nearly 84%

LAST year’s suspension of the gaming operations of Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) dragged the regulator’s net income in 2020 to its lowest in at least seven years.

Based on its statement of comprehensive income, Pagcor’s net income plummeted by 83.75 percent to P1.57 billion last year from P9.659 billion in 2019.

The latest net income posted by state-run Pagcor was the lowest since it registered a net income of P3.09 billion in 2013, the oldest available record of its annual statement of comprehensive income posted on its web site. However, Pagcor’s actual net income in 2020 was way above its downgraded target for the year at only P6.33 million.

In a message to the BusinessMirror, Pagcor Chairman Andrea Domingo attributed the significant decline in its net income to the “pandemic and problems encountered by the offshore gaming operations.”

However, Domingo did not elaborate further.  Pagcor’s total income net of gaming taxes and contributions plunged by 51.99 percent to P20.259 billion in 2020 from P42.2 billion in the previous year but managed to exceed its P19.49 billion-target by 3.94 percent.

Pagcor, nonetheless, was able to slash total expenses last year by 42.05 percent to P18.68 billion from P32.24 billion the previous year. The figure was also below its P19.44-billion target.

Pagcor suspended its gaming operations mid-March last year when government imposed stricter lockdowns to prevent the spread of Covid-19. However, by late August, Pagcor allowed some casinos in the country to reopen limited to a maximum of 30 percent capacity. The Duterte administration also allowed the partial resumption of operations of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) in May. Those government tagged as not tax-compliant were prohibited from resuming operations.

It was reported in June last year that two POGOs—SC World Development Group Ltd., a unit of Macau’s gambling giant SunCity Group, and Don Tencess Asian Services Solutions Inc.—were also identified by Pagcor to have signified their intention to exit the country and officially asked for cancellation of their offshore gaming licenses. These POGOs brought to 15 the number of entities that have closed down.

Pagcor had warned that more POGOs will follow suit, blaming the “stringent” tax rules of the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the restriction of mobility during the lockdown.

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