In the Philippines and the closure of casinos due to the coronavirus pandemic reportedly helped to push aggregated first-quarter net income for the nation’s gaming regulator down by almost 50% year-on-year to just over $15.36 million.

According to a Wednesday report from Inside Asian Gaming, the three-month figure for the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCor) authority represented a diminution of 49.87% year-on-year and was accompanied by a 7.12% comparable drop in gross income to roughly $354.15 million.

Ambitious aim:

Inside Asian Gaming reported that this latter figure fell well short of a $369.52 million target PAGCor had previously set itself and had encompassed some $134.79 million in land-based casino fees alongside approximately $35.77 million in duties from the nation’s collection of 59 licensed iGaming operators. The regulator later purportedly honored its charter by subsequently disbursing about $178.68 million in federal gaming taxes and payments while additionally making corporate social responsibility contributions worth around $86.97 million.

Complete closure:

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte ordered all of his nation’s casinos to shutter for a month from March 16 as a way to help stop the spread of a coronavirus strain that has so far killed 530 locals. The controversial leader subsequently extended this shutdown for venues across much of Luzon including metropolitan Manila until at least May 15 to further postpone the re-opening of the giant City of Dreams Manila, Okada Manila, Solaire Resort and Casino and Resorts World Manila developments.

Operator frustration:

It was further reported that billionaire businessman, Enrique Razon, who serves as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for Bloomberry Resorts Corporation, earlier proclaimed that the impact of coronavirus had turned 2020 into a ‘write-off’ for casino firms in the Philippines. His company is responsible for the 800-room Solaire Resort and Casino and is moreover said to have detailed that likely future social distancing requirements will see the venue re-open its 199,000 sq ft casino floor at only 20% of full capacity.