The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. said it can’t shutter operations at the Casino Filipino Manila Bay due to an existing management contract and argues that the property is profitable if its social contributions are excluded from its results.
The gaming regulator was refuting points made in a recent Commission on Audit report that said the CF Manila Bay had incurred losses of P2.11 billion ($41 million) over the last five years, casting doubt on its ability to continue operations.
PAGCOR said CF Manila Bay only began operations in August 2017 and the other losses referred to a separate entity, the CF Manila Pavilion.
It noted that CF Manila Bay has been operating “on a profit level after deducting the franchise taxes and operating expenses (OPEX).” It is only after deducting the mandated contributions and corporate social responsibility financial assistance that negative figures are registered.
“While it is true that the local gaming landscape is becoming increasingly competitive due to the opening of integrated resorts in Metro Manila, among other factors, we deem it necessary for COA to consider CF Manila Bay’s steady contributions to PAGCOR’s mandated beneficiaries – as part of the branch’s profits and contributions to nation building – and not as losses,” it said.
Since the start of its operations in 2017, CF Manila Bay has contributed a total of P875.58 million for PAGCOR’s mandated beneficiaries and CF Manila Bay’s gross gaming revenue has been steadily increasing since it opened 23 months ago. This has resulted to a rise in net operating income from a monthly average of P4.22 million in 2017 to P13.38 million in 2018.
PAGCOR said it was seeking ways to cut OPEX and was targeting a potential market niche with high limit and VIP tables. It also plans to sublease the second floor to junkets and is considering a revenue sharing scheme to ensure profitability.