The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) has reported that its income from gaming operations in the full year 2020 fell to PHP30 billion (US$624 million), down 60.4 percent year-on-year. Meanwhile, PAGCOR’s annual profits fell by 83.8 percent to PHP1.57 billion.
These represented the lowest figures since 2013.
The primary reason for the sharp decline, of course, was the Covid-19 pandemic, which hit the country hard. Gaming operations were suspended last March until around the end of August, and even since then there have been various restrictions that have impacted revenues.
One bright spot from a public revenue perspective is that taxes collected by the Bureau of Internal Revenue from the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) increased to PHP7.18 billion in 2020, despite the suspension of operations last year due to community lockdowns and the flight of many firms.
PAGCOR does not provide commentary nor detailed breakdowns in its financial statements.
Santosh Tamu, an employee of Tiger Palace Resort in Nepal, has filed a complaint against the resort at Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB). According to Tamu, the resort has diverted the loan taken from Prime Commercial Bank to a casino.
The amount of money spent on pokies in New Zealand hit a record $252 million in the three months to December, the highest since records began in 2007. The figures relate to spending outside of casinos.
The world is bouncing back, or at least coming to grips with the fact that going forward not much will be the same as before. Commendably, this industry quickly understood the need to adapt to a new normal, and that the days of targeting the low hanging fruit of the VIP sector are gone.
Over the years, many of the answers have been remarkably prescient in their forecasts for the near-term direction of Asia’s gaming industry. However, we can safely say that no one came anywhere close to guessing what 2020 may have had in store.