By Karl Angelo N. Vidal, February 5 2019; Business World

Image Credit to Manila Bulletin

THE Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) said revenue rose 18.3% to P67.85 billion in 2018.

According to its statement of comprehensive income posted on its website, PAGCOR said income from gaming operations in 2018 was P67.85 billion, against the year-earlier P57.34 billion.

Meanwhile, PAGCOR’s net profit rose 536% to P31.49 billion, boosted by a one-time gain.

PAGCOR President and Chief Operating Officer Alfredo C. Lim said net profit in the first half received a boost from the sale of a 16-hectare site in Entertainment City for P37.3 billion to Bloomberry Resorts Corp.

“Because of the sale of the property and the increase in revenue in our license fees and casino operations, we are exceeding our target,” Mr. Lim told reporters in August 2018.

“In [the] Bloomberry [deal], we made a lot of money there because we bought that for so much only and yet we were able to sell it at P37 billion, plus the expenses were shouldered by the buyer.”

Bloomberry is the owner and operator of Solaire Resort & Casino in Parañaque.

Overall, PAGCOR’s assets at the end of 2018 rose to P75.71 billion from P38.62 billion reported a year earlier.

At deadline time, PAGCOR had not replied to a request for further comment.

Last week, PAGCOR Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Andrea D. Domingo said in a Bloomberg report that she will ask President Rodrigo R. Duterte to relax a ban on new casino licenses as the country is losing out on opportunities amid a gaming boom in Asia.

In August, Mr. Duterte said there will be no more casinos apart from the current establishments after sacking officials of Nayong Filipino Foundation and shelving a $1.5-billion casino project. — Karl Angelo N. Vidal