PAGCOR to Spend $41.5m to Build 32 Typhoon Shelters

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The Philippine’s gaming regulator and operator, PAGCOR, has allocated $41.5 million to building 32 shelters across the country to help one million displaced individuals due to typhoons.

PAGCOR Steps in to Help with Typhoon Relief Efforts

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (PAGCOR) continues to be a benevolent entity in the country’s public life, with the gaming operator and regulator allocating $41.5 million for the construction of evacuation shelters, a direct response to the country’s most typhoon-vulnerable provinces.

PAGCOR is funding the construction of 32 shelters at 31 sites across the entire country, the company announced on Monday. PAGCOR chairman and chief executive Andrea Domingo reaffirmed the regulator’s commitment to public well-being, noting that the organization had suffered significant revenue losses due to the covid-19 pandemic.

The regulator was forced to suspend gaming operations and comply with government-issued quarantine measures to help deter the spreading of the infection. The regulator restored some operations at partial capacity in May, but the industry has not yet recovered.

Chinese visitors and tourists also stopped coming due to strict visa restrictions. Yet, as Domingo said, people have suffered a lot throughout 2020 and PAGCOR remained committed to upholding its end of the bargain and contribute to societal good.

Extensive lockdowns first announced in mid-March forced many flagship casino resorts in Entertainment City to shut down. Located in Metro Manila, the region is one of the main revenue sources of casino gaming revenue for the country.

In June, the government allowed companies to restart operations at limited capacity. However, the recent string of typhoons has added to the woes of Philippines residents, displacing over one million people.

PAGCOR has stepped up, arguing that the country lacks shelters, and with Domingo confirming that the regulator is ready to allocate the necessary funds to help with the recovery effort.

Revenue Drops Significantly through September 30

PAGCOR has posted rather dispiriting results for the first nine months of the year ending on September 30. During that period, the regulator reported $461.7 million income from gaming operators, or down 60% year-over-year.

PAGCOR itself reported a net loss of PHP1.60 billion in H1, 2020, with many gambling sites having to shut down to comply with regulation. City of Dreams Manila, Okada Manila, Solaire Resort and Casino and Resorts World Manila were among the affected properties.

However, offshore gambling regulators managed to weather the crisis, existing in their own vacuum and spearheading gaming products. Income collected from those operators amounted to PHP3.76 billion or roughly $7.8 million, down 6% year-over-year.

On the upside, PAGCOR’s expenses fell by 34.7% year-over-year in the first nine months of the year, with most operations suspended.

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