Philippines Gaming Revenue up by 11.7% in 2019

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The gaming regulator in the Philippines, the Philippines Amusement and Gaming Corporation /PAGCOR/, has announced in their 2019 annual report that the gaming industry in the country generated PHP75.75 billion /$1.50 billion/.

Beating Projections

The 2019 number, compared to PHP67.85 billion in 2018, represents an 11.7% increase of the revenue on an annual base, beating their projection by PHP1.33 billion, and bringing PHP56 billion in total taxes and corporate social responsibility contribution.

The report showed the income came from several different streams, including slot machines, electronic bingo, table game operations, regulatory fees for offshore gaming sites and license fees from casinos.

Tax Revenue for Social Purposes

From the tax revenue, PHP35.92 billion were allocated to the National Treasury, plus further PHP3.78 billion from the 5% franchise tax on licensees, and PHP1.79 billion to the governing body for sports in the country, the Philippines Sports Commission.

PHP118.9 million went to fund the Board of Claims, an agency within the Department of Justice which grants compensation for unjust imprisonment and violent crimesvictims, another PHP60 million contributing towards the development of a policy for dealing with illegal drugs by the Dangerous Drugs Board.

PHP123.3 million were given in cash incentives to motivate athletes and their coaching teams that were competing in sporting events internationally, and PHP445.7 million were provided to the cities that host casinos operated by PAGCOR.

Selling Land and Properties

The total number of yearly generated revenue by the corporation accounted for a portion that cannot be related to gaming activities, as it included PHP36.27 billion from the sale of property, most of it from the sale of land in Entertainment City that was sold to Sureste Properties Inc, a subsidiary of Bloomberry Resorts Corporation, but even excluding this amount from the total revenue, the year-on-year increase would still be quite satisfactory, 11.2%.

Offshore Operations Licenses

The 2019 financial result is more impressive considering the fact that it came from a year during which there was a temporary suspension of the issuing of new Philippines Offshore Gaming Operator /POGO/ licenses that happened in August, due to the pressure from China on the country to ban online gambling.

Despite January warnings coming out from China that they will continue to crack down on online gaming during 2020 by targeting the countries that host operators that target Chinese people, the gaming industry in the Philippines is unlikely to prohibit igaming, as POGO licenses are being recognized as an important source of jobs and tax revenue for the country by President Rodrigo Duterte himself.

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