Pacific Online Systems Corporation, a subsidiary of Melco Resorts’ Philippines partner Belle Corp, says it has extended the term of its Equipment Lease Agreement with the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) for 12 months from 1 August 2019.
The extension is described by Pacific Online as a stop-gap measure to ensure the unhampered lotto operations of PCSO while it completes the bidding process for a new PCSO Lottery System.
Those plans were temporarily thrown into disarray last week when Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte suddenly shut down all gaming operations of the PCSO – amounting to more than 21,000 outlets nation-wide – alleging widespread corruption within its ranks. He subsequently lifted the ban on lotto operations, which account for almost 5,200 outlets.
Only days before Duterte’s initial ban, Belle Corp had revealed a 49% decline in Pacific Online’s revenues in the six months to 30 June 2019 to Php559 million (US$10.9 million) due to competition from the Small Town Lottery.