Despite the suspension of lotto games for three months last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) generated a total of PHP18.63 billion sales from its games in 2020, the Philippine News Agency reported.
Aside from the generated sales, PCSO general manager Royina Garma said they also provided PHP2.85 billion for the Duterte administration’s concerted efforts to help families affected by the pandemic.
“Alam niyo naman ang PCSO ay income self-generating at hindi kami kumukuhaa ng funds sa national budget. Fortunately, we were able to re-open our doors in July 2020. PCSO was allowed to resume its games in general community quarantine (GCQ) and modified GCQ, our sales resumed gradually increased. Although we had to slowly reinstating our games as the threat of COVID-19 was still very much present,” Garma said during the inauguration of the PCSO Games Hub in Mandaluyong City on Monday, February 2.
Garma said the PHP18.63 billion total general sales last year came from Lotto with PHP6.8 billion; Digit games with PHP5.1 billion; Small Town Lottery (STL) with PHP5.8 billion; Keno with PHP407 million; and instant sweepstakes with PHP522 million sales.
Moreover, Garma added that the PCSO is planning to introduce new games via online, mobile, or text betting “in a year or two from now” to boost sales.
“Yes we are now considering it,” she said. “Now we recraft the terms of reference ng new lotto equipment. Papunta dyan ang direction (That’s our direction).”
However, Garma said they still have to wait for the legal opinion of the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel (OGCC) to make sure minors will not be able to participate in the PCSO games.
“So we have to balance everything, regulate everything. Even if we go online we will make sure that’s it’s not 24/7 and then dapat merong mga restrictions, na dapat 18 years old ka or maybe if you go online, 18 years old is still dependent to their parents. Pag-aaralan pa talaga (then there should be restrictions, you should be 18 years old or maybe if you go online. It will still be studied),” Garma said.