Pagcor: Gambling to help economic future of PH post-coronavirus

Ralf Rivas
Pagcor CEO Andrea Domingo says gambling operations can revive restaurants, hotels, malls, transportation, and real estate

ECONOMIC IMPACT. Pagcor CEO Andrea Domingo delivers her keynote message during the first day of the ICE Asia Digital online conference on June 8, 2020. Photo by Pagcor

MANILA, Philippines – Casinos and gaming stations will help the Philippine economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic, said Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) chairperson and chief executive officer Andrea Domingo.

Domingo said in an online gambling conference on Monday, June 8, that the gaming industry employs about 132,000 people and boosts other businesses like restaurants, hotels, malls in integrated resorts, services, transportation, and real estate. These industries are among the hardest hit by the strict lockdown and physical distancing guidelines.

She hopes that Pagcor-owned casinos can resume operations this June or early July.

“There will be more economic opportunities when other gaming stations and casinos open,” Domingo said.

Pagcor has contributed P12 billion in cash dividends to the National Treasury to fund the coronavirus fight. (READ: PSC gets 90% fund cut from Pagcor in April)

It has also given P2.5 billion to the Office of the President (OP) to help the Department of Health purchase personal protective equipment and medical supplies, and another P12 billion for the OP’s socio-civic projects fund.

Domingo earlier defended the resumption of operations of online casinos or Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs).

POGOs were allowed to reopen during the coronavirus lockdown, even though they are not considered an “essential” business.

The Philippine government argued that POGOs are part of the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry, which was allowed to operate during the lockdown.

But BPOs rejected the claims of state officials, pointing out that POGO workers are mostly foreigners and the nature of the jobs created is different. –

Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.