PHILIPPINE Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Andrea D. Domingo called on the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) to allow the resumption of three “high-earning” gaming operations to raise more funds for the government’s efforts against COVID-19.
She identified these as junkets, e-junkets, and Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) that will work from home.
“Sana lang, IATF, aralin din ‘yung windows of opportunities kung saan pwede mag-generate ng revenues nang hindi makaka-contribute sa problema ng COVID at makakatulong pa (Hopefully the task force will study other opportunities where the government can generate more revenues to help in the fight against the pandemic without contributing to the problem),” Ms. Domingo said.
The PAGCOR chief explained that “junkets” and “e-junkets” of big casinos cater to foreign high rollers and are “segregated,” with some games can even be done via telephone.
The gaming areas are also sanitized while social distancing can be observed as tables for VIPs only accommodate one to two players, she added.
Meanwhile, POGOs can be compared to operations of business process outsourcing (BPO) that were allowed by the government to operate from their homes.
If these three operations will continue, Ms. Domingo said PAGCOR could regain around 50% to 60% of its revenues which will then be remitted back to government and add to the funding pool of COVID-19.
POGOs and gaming operations of casinos are among the establishments that were temporarily suspended by the government during the month-long lockdown of Luzon island. — Beatrice M. Laforga