The Philippines’ state-owned gaming regulator has reportedly rubbished claims that its Casino Filipino Manila Bay facility had run up aggregated debts of over $41.35 million in the five years to the end of 2018.

Mistaken identity:

According to a Wednesday report, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCor) responded to the allegation from the country’s Audit Commission by declaring that the state-run Casino Filipino Manila Bay only began operations in August of 2017. It stated that the disputed figure should moreover be ignored because it had included arrears accumulated by the nearby Casino Filipino Pavilion, which was shuttered some 16 months ago.

Duty deductions:

In addition to serving as the Asian nation’s casino regulator, PAGCor is reportedly responsible for approximately 19,900 slots alongside a collection of some 2,080 gaming tables via six Casino Filipino-branded properties and a chain of 33 satellite venues spread across the Philippines. In reacting to the spending watchdog’s accusations, the operator also proclaimed that the contested deficit had been deduced only after ‘the mandated contributions and corporate social responsibility financial assistance’ had been deducted and that its Casino Filipino Manila Bay was otherwise profitable.

Potential plan:

GGRAsia reported that the Audit Commission had advised PAGCor to shut the Manila casino so as to ‘avert continuous losses’ or contemplate implementing ‘realistic development plans and strategies to generate sufficient funds’. In response, the operator purportedly furthermore detailed that it cannot close the property due to the existence of a 15-year lease deal with Vanderwood Management Corporation but that it was hoping to improve profitability by ‘rationalizing’ operations, reducing expenses and ‘focusing its marketing efforts on the branch’s potential niche, the high-limit and VIP table games.’

According to a Monday statement from PAGCor…

“To generate additional revenues, Casino Filipino Manila Bay is now pursuing the sub-lease of its second-floor area to junket operators. Furthermore, an income-sharing scheme is being seriously contemplated for a guaranteed positive bottom line.”