According to statistics managed by the Philippine gambling regulator, the only income vertical that grew in the country during the first quarter of the year was online gambling.

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), this week its general revenue figures for the game. In total, during the first three months of 2020, P60b (US $ 1.2 trillion) were obtained, indicating that there were no changes compared to the same period last year.

The PAGCOR numbers look somewhat suspicious, as they don’t seem to take into account the impact of the pandemic on the local gaming industry.

Philippine land casino revenue was P53 billion, according to regulator statistics, representing a half-billion increase from the first quarter of last year. However, the 2020 revenue figure appears to have been accidentally adulterated by a double count of the P7.6 billion generated by the Philippine casino business operated by PAGCOR.

Private PAGCOR-licensed casinos located in Manila reported revenues of P33.5 billion during the first quarter of this year, below the P39.8 billion registered in 2019. This reflects the result of the closure of the gambling halls which occurred in mid-March due to the coronavirus outbreak.

On the other hand, affected casinos at Clark Freeport saw their revenue increase from about P1.1 billion to P3.9 billion. Instead the two Thunderbird casinos kept their revenue numbers at P435 million. This means that the total revenue of the private casino was P37.8 billion and not the P45.4 billion indicated by PAGCOR in the subtotal corresponding to the first quarter.

To reach such a figure, the regulator must count Casino Filipino’s income twice, somewhat irregularly.

A closer look at the figures of the private casino indicates that the VIP gaming operations were the ones that performed the most, falling only 28% to P10.1 trillion. While board game revenue was flat at billion P16.6. On the other hand, revenues from electronic games had a decrease of almost 12% to billions P11.

The physical gaming sites whose clientele is mostly local reported a drop in revenue of 7.2% to approximately P7 billion.
PAGCOR’s revenues from Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGO) increased from P1.34 billion in the first quarter of last year to P1.8 billion in the quarter ended March 31, 2020.

These figures will most likely fall in the second quarter of this year when PAGCOR reveals its new results, as the number of POGOs authorized to resume operations after its pandemic shutdown decreased.

In the first quarter of 2020, PAGCOR’s gross revenue totaled P17.2 billion, down from P1 billion year-over-year. Because the ground gaming operations have yet to open, second quarter revenue is expected to drop dramatically.

The country’s regulator unveiled new rules on the ability of licensed sports betting operators to offer online betting related to cockfighting, in a statement released last week.

According to the statement, if “remote betting on live cockfighting is offered online or through the internet, the same shall be available only to VIP Players with Facial Verification Access, Minimum Betting Limits, and Know-Your-Customer Features”.


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