Commercial e-sabong starts this month: PAGCOR

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor) will also enter the regulation of online cockfighting (e-sabong) after the closure of casinos and other gambling establishments due to COVID-19.

Full commercial operations of e-sabong will begin this month, according to PAGCOR chairman and chief executive officer Andrea Domingo.

Only 2 operators have been given permission to operate, after completing the requirements including the performance bond of P75 million. Four other operators are applying, according to Domingo.

It is estimated that PAGCOR can earn up to P250 million to P350 million per month from such gambling.

Last week, PAGCOR appealed to the government to allow casinos and other legitimate gambling establishments in Metro Manila so that the agency can continue to help the sick.

At a  forum, PAGCOR Chairman and Chief Executive Officer  said he has already asked the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to have a partial operation, specifically in Entertainment City where more than 90 percent of the agency’s revenue comes from.

Commercial e-sabong starts this month: PAGCOR

“Kaya nag-appeal kami kung puwede kaming mag-partial operation kasi ’yon ngang sa Universal Health Care. I really feel very bad kasi biro mo before, 2019, 2 years ago, nakaka-contribute na kami ng P18 billion. Kung hindi nag-pandemic, ang makaka-contribute kami ng P50 billion sa national  at 50 percent no’n sa UHC,” said Domingo.

“Ang nangyari, siyempre nagpandemic, nagsara, P8 billion lang ang (na-contribute namin) nitong 2020. Pero ngayon kasing 2021, ‘pag hindi nag-improve, hindi kami aabot ng P5 billion. ’Pag nangyari ’yon, siyempre apektado ang health service at healthcare ng buong bansa,” she added.

PAGCOR’s collection this year could decrease from P16 billion to P17 billion if the restrictions would continue. The agency earned P30 billion in 2020 and P80 billion in 2019.

Domingo said PAGCOR contributed around  P18 billion to the UHC in 2020, which could decrease significantly this year if the quarantines continue.

The agency is mandated to regulate the gaming industry, generate revenues for the Philippine government’s socio-civic and national development programs, and help promote the tourism industry.

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