Pagcor poised to cut share in online casino revenues

Pagcor poised to cut share in online casino revenues

/ 02:11 AM January 22, 2024

Gaming regulator Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) is slashing its share in the revenues of online casinos to make these more competitive in an effort to curb illegal gambling operations.

In an interview last week, Pagcor Chair and CEO Alejandro Tengco said the government’s share in the revenues of licensed casinos could fall to 30 to 32 percent by next year from as much as 50 percent.

“It’s now at 42.5 percent and I’m going to bring it to 37.5 percent by March [this year],” Tengco said.


“I just want to kill illegal gaming. These proliferated because Pagcor charged [the licensees] so much,” he added.


Unlicensed casinos

Tengco estimated that they were losing around P1 billion a month to unlicensed online casinos although he conceded this was likely a lowball figure.

The spread of unlicensed digital casinos was also putting pressure on legal gambling operations.

“Before, we saw six closures of casinos per month. When I brought it down [to 42.5 percent] it’s one closure every two months. In short, they’re encouraged to compete,” Tengco said.

Pagcor expects e-casino, e-bingo and digital sports betting revenues to reach nearly P62 billion this year versus over P58 billion in 2023.

Tengco said Pagcor was also monitoring reports of continued “e-sabong” operations, which were banned by the government two years ago.

Should the administration eventually decide to lift the ban, Tengco said reforms would still be needed.



“I will await the decision of the President, but in the meantime, if there is clamor for that, we have to be strict and come up with new measures,” he said.

For one, he would oppose 24-hour e-sabong operations and also impose more stringent know-your-customer requirements.

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Tengco said e-sabong generated around P6.5 billion in annual revenues during its peak. However, he believes industry earnings were much higher. INQ

TAGS: Business, Pagcor

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