The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) has announced that revenue has dropped by 50% throughout the first quarter due to the coronavirus.
PAGCOR is the gambling regulator across the Philippines and was established by Presidential Decree 1067-a in 1976. In addition to issuing and overseeing PH gambling licenses, PAGCOR also provides financial assistance to other governmental agencies.
Last year PAGCOR claimed an 11.7% increase in gaming revenue with a total of PH75 billion. Most of the income is gained from the PAGCOR owned casinos, regulatory fees, and POGO licensing. PAGCOR then uses the money to fund the national treasury, other federal services, and disaster relief funds.
As the number of coronavirus cases soars across the Philippines, casinos are ordered to remain closed to help prevent the spread of the virus. Since the first case was reported on January 30th, 2020, the number of cases has escalated to almost 8.5k with 568 deaths at the time of this writing.
Ever since the stay at home order was issued for the Luzon island by President Duterte Filipinos have been experiencing limited activities like the rest of the world. However, there have been protests and others who have defied the orders. The situation escalated to the point where President Duterte told the police and the army to shoot anyone who defines the orders.
FLASH REPORT: Mga residente ng Sitio San Roque na nag-rally dahil sa umano’y kakulangan ng relief packs sa QC, pinag-aaresto na ng QCPD | via @dzrh5 Val Gonzales #DZRHat80 #COVID19Alert pic.twitter.com/kIdPZlalz8
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Despite the strict orders, Filipino gamblers still have some options in the form of online casinos that operate legally throughout the Philippines. While the local casinos are still closed, online operations have been in full swing, offering up some of the best incentives in the business. Popular online casino games include slots, blackjack, keno, video poker, and more. New accounts can take advantage of lucrative bonus options and other incentives just for signing up and making their first deposit. Online casinos have even made it easier and quicker for Filipinos to deposit and withdraw by offering cryptocurrency options.
Unfortunately, sporting events across the Philippines have also been put on hold, and the PSC Commissioner recently said that sports would be one of the last things to return to normal due to the nature of their events. However, the commissioner’s statement doesn’t mean that sports won’t resume this year, but having fans in attendance is unlikely until there is a vaccine for the coronavirus.
PAGCOR has been holding up its end of the bargain as the government agency has recently supplied funding to fight the spread of the coronavirus. PAGCOR has also provided funds for the Philippine Sports Commission and other federal agencies despite the enormous losses they are incurring during the first quarter.