The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) remitted PHP2.59 billion ($49.36 million) in dividend contributions to the Philippine government during 2018.
The country’s Department of Finance (DOF), in a press release, reported the gaming regulator as among the top remitters among government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs), who contributed PHP40.18 billion ($764.87 million) in total for the year, 32% higher than in 2017.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez partly credited the increased remittances to efficient monitoring of the agencies by the DOF Corporate Affairs Group (CAG).
GOCCs are required to declare and remit half their annual net earnings “as cash, stock or property dividends to the National Government.” According to the DOF-CAG, the cash dividend collections constituted 15.72% of total nontax revenues collected by the Philippine government for the year.
Dominguez had previously announced plans to sell the casinos operated by PAGCOR, as a way to plug deficits in the national budget. However, such a plan has not advanced, with PAGCOR chairman and CEO Andrea Domingo saying that the government stood to benefit more from keeping the casinos under its control, since at present, 100% of their gross gaming revenue (GGR) goes directly to the government, unlike with private businesses where about 19.5% of GGR is paid as taxes.
She has projected earnings of $479 million-$497 million from these casinos for the whole of 2018.
As of September 30, 2018, PAGCOR has reported income from gaming operations of PHP50.31 billion ($957.73 million), and a net income of PHP37.59 billion ($715.67 million).
Last July, the Philippine Commission on Audit (COA) released a report claiming that PAGCOR still owed the government $393 million in unpaid remittances from 2011-2017. The error, the state auditor explained, was in computing the amount owed based on gaming operation earnings rather than “aggregate gross earnings.”
For 2017, PAGCOR reported gaming revenue of nearly $1.19 billion, with the largest share coming from the casinos it operates.