Philippines gaming regulator PAGCOR has reported a 49.1% year-on-year decline in income from gaming operations in 1Q21, impacted by the ongoing effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
However, the Q1 results showed some improvement over the final quarter of 2020, suggesting volumes around the country had been gradually increasing before the resumption of lockdown measures and suspension of all casino operations in Manila on 29 March 2021.
According to PAGCOR’s latest financial statements, income from gaming operations fell 49.1% from Php17.22 billion (US$339.8 million) in the first three months of 2020 to Php8.36 billion (US$172.8 million) in 1Q20.
Profit fell even further, down 79.1% year-on-year to just Php152.6 million (US$3.2 million) from a 1Q20 profit of Php777.4 million (US$15.3 million). By comparison, PAGCOR’s profit in the first three months of 2019, a year before the COVID-19 pandemic, was Php1.55 billion (US$32.0 million).
The Philippines gaming regulator ordered all casinos in Manila closed from 15 March 2020 and across the Philippines’ entire main island of Luzon from 16 March 2020 to halt an initial outbreak of COVID-19.
The nation’s quarantine measures were gradually eased from June onwards with Manila’s integrated resort operators granted permission to resume at 30% capacity in August. However, a much larger outbreak currently sweeping the Philippines saw strict Enhanced Community Quarantine measures implemented in the National Capital Region once again from 29 March 2021, with all casinos still closed as of today.
PAGCOR revealed Tuesday that it paid a total of Php4.39 billion (US$90.6 million) in gaming taxes and contributions as part of its mandated charter in 1Q21, which includes a 50% government share and 5% franchise tax. It also paid Php1.31 billion (US$27.0 million) in CSR contributions.