PAGCOR Pays $354m in 2020 to Help with Covid-19 Relief Efforts

PAGCOR contributed $354 million to the Bureau of the Treasury in a bid to bolster Covid-19 relief efforts in 2020.

PAGCOR Continues to Help in Covid-19 Relief Efforts

The Philippines gaming regulator (PAGCOR) has played a key role in offsetting the economic impact the Covid-19 pandemic has inflicted on the country, remitting an estimated $354 million to the Bureau of the Treasury through December 15, 2020, Inside Asian Gaming reported.

Given the volume of contributions, PAGCOR is one of the largest contributors despite a severely reduced income over the last months and the threat of overregulation by a cash-strapped government.

Based on a reported released by the Department of Finance, PAGCOR has been one of 63 state companies and corporations to contribute towards the financial relief efforts the country has mounted since the beginning of the pandemic earlier this year.

A grand total of $3.34 billion has been collected based on the Department’s numbers. All government-owned companies must contribute at least 50% of their earnings. PAGCOR has been beleaguered by diminishing revenue streams, with the October results down 60%.

The regulator has been working on restoring the casino industry in the country since May, when POGOs, the government-owned offshore gaming operators, were allowed to return in a limited capacity.

The following months were filled with various initiatives focused on rebuilding the gaming industry as well as refocusing efforts on social causes, including the building of shelters against typhoons and approval of an online casino. PAGCOR has also taken an aim at unregulated gambling on social media, appealing to consumers and social platforms to curb the spread of illegal gambling advertisement.

New Avenues for Gambling Opportunities

Rebuilding the gambling industry takes creativity and POGOs are now looking into cockfighting and horse racing as viable online markets to attract new domestic and overseas audiences, Nikkei Asia reported recently.

The shift towards a more diversified gaming crowd comes in the wake of shuttered borders, which were closed down cutting off the country from its inflow of Chinese high roller gamblers, and new regulations in China that target tourist agencies organizing gambling trips to offshore locations.  

Authorizing online gambling is still in the works for the Philippines, which will be looking to diversify an overly-reliant gambling industry and adapt it to the new realities of a world where high rollers may be absent.

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