Andrea Domingo, Chairman and CEO of PAGCOR, hopes that Manila’s casinos can reopen this month, or ‘at the very latest in July,’ after falling tax revenues and job losses in the casino sector.
Land-based casinos have been closed with Okada Manila announcing 1,000 layoffs last month due to lack of revenue for nearly three months.
Speaking at the online conference ICE Asia Digital and SiGMA Asia Focus, she said PAGCOR had increased its annual revenue from US$ 902 m in 2015 to over US$ 1.6bn in 2019.
“This is how much PAGCOR contributes to the national economy and we would have been doing very well this year, but then COVID came and somehow we have to take three steps back. But we’re going to get on with it in June or at the very latest in July,” she said.
“The priority is that we need to stay healthy and stay safe during COVID-19. The second most important thing is that we have to be able to maintain the employment of the 132,000 direct hires of the gaming industry. And third we have to maximise revenue collection because our government, like all governments, needs the money not only to fight COVID but to buy a vaccine, to do massive testing, support hospitals and also to jump start the economy after the COVID crisis is over.”