PAGCOR off to slow start in 2018 with $27.3M Q1 net income

PAGCOR off to slow start in 2018 with $27.3M Q1 net income

Net income of state-run Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) grew at a slower pace in the first three months of 2018, government data showed.

Latest figures from PAGCOR indicated that the state regulator’s net income was at PHP1.42 billion (US$27.3 million) in the first quarter, 7.6 percent higher than the PHP1.32 billion ($26.5 million) it recorded during same period in 2017.

However, PAGCOR’s net income growth was slower than last year’s 26.9 percent. The state regulator didn’t provide an explanation behind the slowdown or what fueled the income growth for the first quarter.

PAGCOR off to slow start in 2018 with $27.3M Q1 net incomePAGCOR’s total revenue grew at a modest pace of 12.5 percent to PHP15.80 billion in the three months ending March 30, 2018, compared with the 26.7 percent growth to PHP14.04 billion in the first quarter of 2017.

Regulatory fees collected from licensed casinos stood at approximately PHP5.70 billion ($109.96 million), while income collected from offshore gaming operators reached nearly PHP1.15 billion ($22.18 million).

The state regulator also registered total expenses of PHP7.03 billion in the first quarter of 2018, up 9.7 percent year-on-year. PAGCOR’s mandated contributions to the state reached PHP8.29 billion ($159.9 million). Much of that amount was directed to subsidies granted to non-governmental entities.

Early this year, PAGCOR chair Andrea Domingo estimated that Philippine gross gaming revenue would rise to PHP186 billion ($3.57 billion) with the bulk of growth coming from Philippine offshore gaming operator (POGO) licensees.

To ensure that the state regulator hits its annual target, PAGCOR set an ambitious target of PHP6 billion ($115.4 million) from POGOs. Domingo said this target is attainable since all 53 firms awarded licenses to operate in the country are now up and running.

Group questions PAGCOR’s move to centralize gambling

Meanwhile, a cause-oriented group has dragged PAGCOR to court over its alleged misinterpretation of the law that allowed PAGCOR to centralize and integrate all games of chance.

In a 14-page petition, the Anti-Trapo Movement of the Philippines Inc. asked the Supreme Court to hold PAGCOR accountable for redrawing the map of the Philippine online gambling industry, reducing the importance of several online licensing jurisdictions.

The group wants the high tribunal to hold PAGCOR in contempt of law for usurpation of judicial powers when it decided to arrogate itself the authority to interpret and implement the law.

PAGCOR made waves in September 2016 by announcing the new requirements for Philippine-based online gambling operators serving bettors in other countries. The move followed a crackdown on the nation’s ‘eGames’ industry, which, unlike the international online operators, catered to a domestic user base via digital terminals in internet café-style venues.