State-run Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.’s (Pagcor) net income in the first quarter plunged by 80 percent to P152.6 million, from P777.4 million a year ago, as lockdown measures continued to hamper gaming operations.Based on its latest financial statements, Pagcor’s total income from gaming operations from the January-to-March period was slashed by 51.4 percent to P8.36 billion from last year’s P17.2 billion. It also paid a total of P4.39 billion in gaming taxes and contributions as of end-March this year.Its total expenses for the first three months of this year dropped by 45.8 percent to P4.38 billion, from last year’s P8.09 billion.Pagcor Chairman Andrea Domingo on Wednesday said she expects gaming revenues to decline further to P16 billion to P17 billion this year from below P30 billion last year if lockdown restrictions will remain in place to contain the spread of Covid-19.Domingo revealed that Pagcor is losing an average of about P15 million a day due to the pandemic.“Last year was better because for the first three months…we were in full operation which allowed us to accumulate savings to tide us over. But in 2021, the GCQ [general community quarantine] limited operations and then the ECQ [enhanced community quarantine] which closed down the 26 casinos that we have, Pagcor-owned, in the National Capital Region [NCR] Plus Bubble, 6 casinos in the NCR Plus Bubble and about 540 e-bingo and e-games establishments at about 830 in NCR alone.”With the decline in its revenues because of the pandemic-related restrictions, Domingo said Pagcor would have fewer funds for government programs, including Universal Health Care (UHC).From contributing about P18 billion for the implementation of UHC in 2019, Domingo said Pagcor was able to set aside P8 billion for the program last year.“This year, Pagcor could only contribute about P5 billion or even less. And that makes us very sad because, you know, we have so many problems with Covid. If this trend continues, then, we may not be able to help at all.”Despite this, Domingo is hoping to recoup some of Pagcor’s losses if the lockdown restrictions in Metro Manila will be eased to GCQ or Modified GCQ in the next two weeks.Domingo also reported that 33 Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (Pogos) and over 200 service providers have ceased operations.Nonetheless, the Pagcor chief expressed optimism that Pogos will return once issues related to manpower and tax rates are resolved.“I think that some of them, the bigger ones who will be coming in, wants two things settled: that they have enough manpower to run their BPOs [business process outsourcing] operations and two, the tax rates are finally settled by law,” she said.Domingo said Pagcor is fine with the Senate bill on taxing Pogos and Pogo operators have also agreed to pay taxes.She also revealed that Pagcor is hoping to earn P250 to P350 million a month from electronic sabong.