The regulator increased funds corresponding to 2019’s cash dividends to aid the efforts to curve the spread of Covid-19.
Philippines.- The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) remitted an extra Php1bn (US$20.7m) to the National Treasury this week.
It corresponds to cash dividends for the year 2019, which have now been brought to a total of Php18bn ($374m).
The agency’s latest remittance is mainly intended to help fund the government’s efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 and provide economic relief.
PAGCOR’s Vice President for Finance Recto Baltazar, Jr. delivered the check to Bureau of Treasury’s Officer-In-Charge and Director for Asset Management Service, Eduardo Anthony Mariño III (pictured).
Baltazar said: “Our agency remains financially challenged due to our limited gaming operations, but this won’t prevent us from fulfilling our obligations to the national government especially in this time of the pandemic.”
PAGCOR turned over Php12bn ($249m) to the Treasury on 23 March 2020 and later another Php5bn ($103m) on 6 June 2020.
The gaming regulator remains one of the top three government-owned and controlled corporations with the highest cash dividends contribution.
The Philippines recently passed new legislation aiming to increase tax collection from the gaming sector, in light of the needs of financing Covid-19 relief efforts.
For instance, the House of Representatives in the Philippines has approved a bill that proposes to tax online betting on sabong events held in legal cockpits and transmitted through streaming systems.
The project places a 5 per cent tax on revenues from an ongoing legal activity that had not yet been taxed in the Philippines.
This tax could raise at least Php1.25bn (almost US$26m) in its first full year for the National Treasury.
The regulator has also granted licences for land-based operators to take online bets in an effort to also increase its own income and remittances to the government.