PH casino boom pushes Pagcor remittance to record high
MANILA, Philippines — The country’s gaming regulator turned over its largest annual dividend to the national government for its 2018 operating year on Tuesday thanks to the strong performance of both private and government run casinos, the agency said.
In a statement, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) said the P16.17 billion in cash dividends it turned over to the national treasury is the “highest one-time remittance, [which] almost matched the P17.16 billion cumulative cash dividends from 2011 to 2017.”
Pagcor chair and CEO Andrea Domingo described the record high remittance – which the government uses to fund its social, educational and poverty alleviation programs – as “just the tip of the iceberg”.
“In 2018, we recorded our highest revenue in history, which amounted to P104.12 billion,” she said. “This feat enabled our agency to significantly increase our contributions to nation-building by 42.52 percent.”
From P41.36 billion in total contributions in 2017, Pagcor remitted a combined P58.95 billion to the national coffers and other mandated beneficiaries in 2018.
Of its revenues last year, P67.85 billion came from the agency’s income from gaming operations while P36.27 billion came from other income including the sale of Pagcor’s land in Entertainment City to Bloomberry Resorts Corp., netting P32.71 billion for the government.
Although the agency’s revenue increase received a boost from the sale of land to Bloomberry, its 2018 income from gaming operations also rose significantly by 18.34 percent from P57.33 billion.
The P67.85 billion revenues from gaming operations came from winnings from electronic games (P24.78 billion), table games (P11.79 billion); and bingo operations (P1.04 billion). Income from licensed casinos (P24.11 billion) and offshore gaming operations (P6.11 billion) likewise contributed significantly to revenue growth.
Domingo explained that every year, Pagcor remits cash dividends to national coffers, in compliance with the law that requires government-owned and -controlled corporations to remit at least 50 percent of their annual net earnings as cash, stock or property dividends to the national government.
Pagcor has been remitting cash dividends to the government since 2011, but reached its peak last year. Because of this, the agency’s total remitted cash dividends from 2011 to the present have reached P33.33 billion.
As such, the agency has consistently qualified to be part of the “GOCC Elite Circle” or the so-called Billionaires’ Club – state firms that remit at least P1 billion cash dividends to the government.
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