Philippines gaming regulator PAGCOR has approved a Php34.64 million (US$680,000) grant to cities and local government units that are home to branches of Casino Filipino.
According to an announcement from PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Andrea Domingo, the funds are aimed at cushioning the economic impact on host cities that saw gaming revenues dry up at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The regulator suspended the release of each city’s revenue share in April 2020 in response to the suspension of operations due to strict COVID-19 lockdowns, and capacity limits have remained in place nationwide ever since.
“We resumed payment of the host cities’ share in January 2021, provided that the Casino Filipino branch is allowed to operate by its host local government unit, and on the condition that said branch meets the minimum target or operates at break-even at least,” Domingo said.
“With the approved grant of Php34.64 million, our host cities will be able to receive financial support that is almost equivalent to their host city share allocation under full operational capacity.”
PAGCOR, which reported a 19.9% year-on-year decline in income from gaming operations to Php14.78 billion (US$293.7 million) in 2Q21, said it had remitted over Php1.93 billion (US$37.8 million) between 2016 and March 2020 to cities that host a Casino Filipino branch.
“PAGCOR is able to produce revenues that help boost community development projects by regulating gaming and preventing the proliferation of illegal gambling in the Philippines,” Domingo said.
“Through the share, many cities that host a Casino Filipino branch were able to fund sustainable programs, such as water filtering systems in their public schools or funding for disaster response initiatives.”