Philippines gaming regulator PAGCOR has reported a slight 5.7% decrease in income from gaming operations to Php17.22 billion (US$339.8 million) for the three months to 31 March 2020.
The results were impacted by the closure of all casinos in Manila from 15 March, and across the Philippines’ entire main island of Luzon from 16 March, to stop the spread of COVID-19. The closures across much of Luzon, including Manila, remain in place to this day with President Rodrigo Duterte last week extending enhanced community quarantine measures until at least 15 May.
According to PAGCOR’s statement of comprehensive income for 1Q20, published on Tuesday, profit for the period fell by 49.9% to Php777.4 million (US$15.3 million), well below its pre-2020 target of Php1.42 billion (US$28 million) for the quarter.
PAGCOR paid a total of Php9.04 billion (US$178.4 million) in gaming taxes and contributions as part of its mandated charter, which includes a 50% government share and 5% franchise tax, and almost Php4.4 billion in CSR contributions.
Gaming income in 2019 included Php6.82 billion (US$134.6 million) from licensed casinos and Php1.81 billion (US$35.7 million) from POGOs.
As recently reported by Inside Asian Gaming, the Chairman and CEO of Bloomberry Resorts Corp, Enrique Razon Jr, has described 2020 as a write-off for the Philippines’ gaming operators due to the expected long-lasting impact of COVID-19. Razon also stated last week that Bloomberry’s flagship property, Solaire Resort & Casino, would likely re-open gaming operations at just 20% capacity.