By FLORO L. MERCENE
The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) is being accused of multiple allegations of corruption in handling out STL franchises.
It is also accused of massive revenue leakage related to jueteng, as well as other illegal gambling activities.
Even in lotto, the mismanagement is clear. Sales have drastically fallen at almost half of last year’s levels, severely affecting PCSO’s mandate.
Charity assistance has dropped almost 60 percent due to budget shortfalls from falling revenues.
PCSO’s Alexander Balutan said sales for February this year fell by 39.19 percent to P1.6 million, versus P2.6 million for the same period in 2018.
Of all lotto products, Ultra Lotto 6/58 registered the highest drop at 60.11 percent, with only P166, 254,440 in sales, compared to P416,886,040 for the same period last year.
In January, Balutan reported more than P1.9-million overall sales for lotto and digit games, 30 percent lower than the same period last year.
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor), meanwhile, continues to break revenue records almost every month, increasing government coffers and contributing to nation-building.
Pagcor has shown highly professional management and opened up new revenue streams such as POGO, adding billions of pesos to the government.
The head of Pagcor says 2018 Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) in the country’s casino business grew to about P200 billion (US$3.79 billion), 13 percent more than the year before. For 2017, the country’s gaming industry recorded aggregate GGR of P152.55 billion, an increase of 15 percent in year–on-year terms.
Reports by the news agency Reuters quoted Pagcor Chairman Andrea Domingo as saying the forecast for 2019 casino GGR is 8.5 percent growth to P217 billion, another GGR record for the country.
Perhaps it’s time we allow the better-run gaming agency to manage the problematic lottery agency.
Pagcor’s track record of meeting its mandate will surely fix the PCSO problem and restore its ability to not only meet its targets but even exceed them.
President Rodrigo Duterte recently strengthened the fight against illegal gambling by signing EO 13 that clarifies the perceived confusion and overlaps in the role of several agencies.