THE Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) said it booked a net loss in the first half after a sharp decline in its gaming revenue with casinos forced to close due to the lockdown.

In financial statements released Thursday, PAGCOR said its net loss was P1.596 billion in the six months to June, after reporting a year-earlier profit of P3.079 billion. It missed its P2.835-billion profit target for the half as gaming venues unable to operate and overseas gamblers unable to visit due to travel restrictions.

The regulator’s income from gaming operations fell 49.56% year on year to P18.443 billion.

Less gaming taxes and contributions, net gaming earnings totaled P8.76 billion, down 49.56% year on year.

The regulator paid some P922 million for the 5% franchise tax and contributed P30 million to the Dangerous Drugs Board.

As a government-owned and controlled corporation, it also remitted P8.73 billion to the national government, down 49.65% year on year.

Income from related services and other activities totaled P316.01 million and P655.62 million, down 51.92% and 58.67%, respectively.

PAGCOR booked expenses of P11.317 billion in the six months, down 31.53% from a year earlier.

Starting mid-March, casinos were shut down after being deemed non-essential and also a risk because they depended on mass gatherings.

PAGCOR Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Andrea D. Domingo has said the regulator has submitted its recommendations to the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Disease for the reopening of casinos.

Philippine Offshore Gaming Operation businesses have been allowed to resume partial operations provided they settle their tax arrears.

Ms. Domingo said the regulator lost revenue of about P5-6 billion due to the lockdown. — Beatrice M. Laforga