Pagcor 17Q1 net income jumps 26.9 percent

Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) posted a 26.9 percent increase in net income for the first three months of 2017.

The state-run Philippine gaming regulator released its latest financial statement on the quarter on Wednesday – reporting net income of P1.3 billion (US$26.3 million) in 17Q1. Income from gaming operations in 17Q1 was P14 billion, rising 26.7 percent year-on-year.

Total expenses increased in the quarter, up 36.7 percent to P 6.4 billion.

In a report from CalvinAyre, PAGCOR chair Andrea Domingo attributed the strong results to the combined effects of an improving market, as well as “newly implemented in-house efficiency measures.”

“Our people have very high morale. It also helped that we introduced more effective revenue monitoring systems.” said Domingo.

“We also made several reassignments of general managers and branch managers. Of course, it is worth telling that there are more participatory management practice, constant communication between corporate offices and branches.”

Last month, Domingo noted the regulator was not in a hurry to divest its own casinos, because of strong results since January.

The Finance Department, under the administration of incoming President Rodrigo Duterte told Pagcor to privatize its casinos last year to raise funds for the national budget. The news was greeted positively by the industry amidst long-standing concerns about the potential conflicts of interest in having a market regulator, which also operates casinos.

Pagcor has a total of 46 properties spread across the country, which were seen as potential entry points to the Philippines for international investors.  

However, now the casinos are generating income, Domingo said the subject may be up for discussion.

“We are not opposing it. If it is going to happen it will happen but I’m not holding my breath,” Domingo said at a press conference during the ASEAN Gaming Summit organized by Asia Gaming Brief. “What I am saying is it’s a business opportunity and we’re going to seize it and I think it’s the right decision. We are now earning more money from our own casinos than we did before.”