The Philippines gambling watchdog, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), has collected aggregated profits of over PHP300 billion ($5.5 billion) for the six-year period during which Andrea Domingo headed the regulator.
Record Gambling Revenue for PAGCOR
In a press release issued on June 29, chairman and CEO of PAGCOR Andrea Domingo shared the financial results from the six years she has chaired the organization. In the statement, Domingo highlighted that the effective procedures of regulating gambling activities implemented by PAGCOR have resulted in these exceptional results. Only for the first quarter of 2022 PAGCOR has collected net revenue amounting to PHP624.7 million ($11.4 million), which is considerably higher than the net income of PHP152.6 million ($2.8 million) for the same period in 2021.
PAGCOR’s main income comes from the licenses it issues to gambling operators but the watchdog itself operates some venues it profits from as well. 50% of the gross earnings from these activities are allocated to the state budget as regulated by law. PAGCOR itself uses part of the remaining 50% to sponsor community projects.
Chair Andrea Domingo’s comments on the successful collection of revenue were actually made during the launch of an evacuation center located in Pampanga’s San Fernando, which was sponsored by PAGCOR. She expressly stated:
During our six years in office, we were able to record more than PHP300 billion ($5.5 billion), of which PHP234 billion ($4.3 billion) went directly to the government and mandated beneficiaries while the remainder went to our social responsibility projects.
Andrea Domingo, chair, PAGCOR
Domingo has chaired the watchdog since 2016 and has previously held the position of head of the Philippines’ Bureau of Immigration. She was appointed head of PACGOR by the Philippines’ President Rodrigo Duterte after his election. She was actively involved in his pre-election presidential campaign. As the Philippines recently elected Ferdinand Marcos Jr as their new president, it is possible that there would be a reshuffle in PACGOR’s leadership.
Uncollected Gambling Revenue
Meanwhile, the Commission on Audit (COA) notified PACGOR on June 23 that there is outstanding uncollected income from Offshore Gaming Operations (POGOs), which amounts to PHP 2.3 billion ($41.8 million). Some of these accounts receivable date back to 2017. COA has indeed highlighted that PHP 815.9 million ($14.8 billion) is being disputed but even if that amount is not taken into account there remains PHP 1.512 billion ($27.5 million) to be collected. PAGCOR has answered that the PHP 815.9 million ($14.8 billion) under dispute have been resolved and are no longer outstanding while the rest of the uncollected funds are a result of the pandemic. Due to COVID restrictions, gambling operators were forced to shut down and did not operate for long periods of time.