Gambling Industry Among Country’s Top Employers

January 3, 2023 | Gambling

MANILA, Philippines (January 2, 2022) — The gambling industry was still the top-paying employer in the country’s arts, entertainment, and recreation (AER) sector even as the economy struggled to stay afloat at the height of the pandemic in 2020, government figures showed.

Workers in the gambling industry, including casinos, sports betting establishments, and lotteries, received an average of P465,000 in salaries and benefits for the full year, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

The industry’s compensation outmatched that of the entire sector, where a worker earned an average of only P314,000 in 2020.

In total, the AER sector accounted for P15.5 billion in compensation to employees. But the full-year payout across the sector dropped by 21 percent from P397,000 per worker in 2019, before disruptions due to COVID-19.

These were some of the preliminary findings of the PSA’s 2020 Annual Survey of Philippine Business and Industry, which gathered information on the salaries and benefits of 1,245 respondents from enterprises engaged in the AER sector.

Aside from gambling and betting, the sector covers businesses engaged in sports activities; libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural activities; creative, arts, and entertainment activities; and “other amusement and recreation activities.” The survey, however, was confined to formal or regulated establishments, according to the PSA.

Of the 50,005 sector workers tallied by the PSA in 2020, gambling and betting operators employed more than half, or 26,853. The AER workforce shrank by 38 percent from 80,125 workers counted in the 2019 survey.

In 2020, gambling and betting accounted for P56 billion, or 83 percent of the AER sector’s P68 billion revenue, and P69 billion, or 84 percent of its P82 billion expenditure.

This means that gambling and betting activities had the lowest ratio of revenue per peso spent.

On average, across the industry, a company earned 82 centavos for every peso spent.

The PSA data did now show how many companies were profitable and how many were losing money.

In a statement, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) reiterated its call on the public not to engage in illegal online gambling to avoid falling prey to scams, such as identity theft or credit card fraud.

Pagcor said betting in illegal games was not only a criminal act, it also took away from the government billions of pesos in revenues which could fund priority programs for a greater number of Filipinos.

The regulator encourages gaming aficionados to take part only in its licensed online-based gaming “for a truly enjoyable and safe gaming experience.”

By: Ronnel W. Domingo

SOURCE: Daily Inquirer.

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