Philippine Charity Swweepstakes Office (PCSO)

Address: Sun Plaza Building 1507 Princeton Street Shaw Boulevard 1552 Mandaluyong City, Philippines
Phone: Phone: +632 650 00 99
Chairman: P/CSupt. Anselmo Simeon P. Pinili (Ret.)
General Manager: Colonel Royina Marzan Garma
Year Lottery Founded: 1935
Sales FY 2015: PHP37.4 Billion (Peso)
Number of Employees: 1,111
Points of Sale (POS): 11,070
Games Offered: Lotto, Keno, Digit Games and small-town lottery
Beneficiaries: PCSO allocates 30% of net receipts to designated charities.
Jurisdiction" Philippines

About Philippine Charity Swweepstakes Office (PCSO)

Lotteries was introduced in the Philippines in 1833, as the company called Real Renta de Loteria was founded on January 29, 1850 and the first draw was held on January 21, 1851, under the auspices of private enterprises called the Empresa de Reales Loterias Españolas de Filipinas, the Spanish government conducted loterias to generate revenues. José Rizal won ₱6,200.00 in the draw of 1892, while on exile in Dapitan. He donated his winnings to an educational project.

The loteria was forced to stop operations during the outbreak of the Spanish–American War on July 19, 1898.

In 1932, the first Sweepstakes draw after the last loteria was conducted by the American Insular government to raise funds to support sports projects for the Filipino youth through the Philippine Amateur Athletic Federation (PAAF) – the beneficiary of the first draw. After the success of the PAAF Sweepstakes, the government decided to conduct more draws for the benefit of the Philippine Anti-Tuberculosis Society, now the Philippine Tuberculosis Society (PTS). The draws were held under the auspices of an organization called the National Charity Sweepstakes.

On March 1935, then President Manuel L. Quezon approved Act No. 301 – the law passed by the Philippine Legislature in October 30, 1934 creating the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes, replacing the then National Charity Sweepstakes. Under this law, the new organization was authorized to secure from the National Treasury a loan amounting to ₱250,000.00, the minimum amount required for organizing the office and printing the tickets for the draw. On September 8, 1935, the new agency held its first Sweepstakes draw. The loan was paid back in less than two months and shortly after the note was signed, proceeds from the sales started coming in.

Among its beneficiaries then were the Philippine Amateur Athletic Federation (PAAF; today the Philippine Olympic Committee), the Philippine Tuberculosis Society (PTS), the National Federation of Women’s Clubs, the Asociación de Damas de Filipinas, the Gota de Leche, the Associate of Manila and the Provinces, the Philippine Islands Council of the Boy Scouts of America, the Asilo para Invalidos de los Veteranos de la Revolución, the Child Welfare Center and other institutions and organizations engaged in charitable and health work, or work for the improvement of the conditions of the indigent Filipino masses.

Its corporate charter was enacted into law under Republic Act No. 1169 on June 18, 1954 by Ramon Magsaysay. It repealed Act No. 430, as amended by Commonwealth Act Nos. 301 and 546 and by Republic Acts Nos. 72 and 574. In September 1979, Batas Pambansa Blg. 42 was enacted to raise the fund allocation for the agency’s Charity Fund and for the use of unclaimed prizes.[2]

On January 1995, during the incumbency of then Chairman Manuel Morato, the PCSO launched the very first online lottery in the Philippines known as Lotto, its first draw was held on March 8, 1995. Similar to lotteries in the U.S., Europe and Australia, the automated gaming, initially the Lotto 6/42, the player chooses any set of 6 numbers from 1 to 42 and wins when these numbers are drawn in any sequence during the draw date. An equipment lease was signed with Malaysia’s Berjaya Sports Toto Berhad.

On March 20, 2006, through the advise of then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, the PCSO launched the small-town lottery (STL). It is intended to compete with jueteng, a popular but illegal numbers game that is criticized as a major source of corruption in local government units.

On July 26, 2019, in a speech, President Rodrigo Duterte declared PCSO games as “illegal” due to corruption allegiations and closing down the lotto outlets by the PNP, temporarily suspending the gaming operations after the speech, Lotto operations was resumed on July 31, 2019 and small-town-lottery operations on August 22, 2019.

On July 26 to August 26, 2019, President Rodrigo Duterte has suspended the STL operations around the country due to allegations of corruption.

On March 17, 2020, PCSO’s gaming-related operations such as Lotto, Keno, Digit Games and small-town lottery in Luzon suspended again following the quarantine in Luzon declared by President Rodrigo Duterte amid coronavirus pandemic.