The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation’s (PAGCOR) net income down nearly 87% to $3.9 million in 2021 as lockdowns continued to restrict casino operations.
The Philippines casino industry was severely hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, with lockdowns and preventive measures still in place during the last year. In comparison, PAGCOR posted $30.3 million in 2020.
The corporation’s total income net of gaming of taxes and contributions settled at $359.3 million last year, down by 9.4% from $396.7 million in 2020. Moreover, expenses, which include contributions to the national government, reached 349.7 million, down 4.48% from 2020.
PAGCOR Chairman Andrea Domingo said that the significant drop in net income was attributable to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the absence of non-gaming revenues. Moreover, the closure of some Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (Pogos) also contributed to the income decline.
“The Pogos missed their target by almost 20% for lack of manpower, a good number closed down and [were impacted by] the slowing down of the world economy,” Domingo said.
It is estimated that about 32 out of the former 60 Pogos in the Philippines have left the country, most of them having already transferred to other jurisdictions.
The Chairman further revealed that, due to the drop in revenues, there will be fewer funds to contribute to government programmes, including Universal Health Care. In comparison, 2020 proved to be a better year for the state-run corporation as PAGCOR was able to accumulate savings from the first three months of the year, in which casinos were in full operation.
Along with results for full-year 2021, the gaming regulator also reported income from gaming operations for Q4 2021. For the three months to 31 December 2021, PAGCOR reported an income of $638.9 million, up 8.8% from the same period the prior year, and up 46.5% from the prior quarter.
World Esports Championship: CS:GO team to kick off India’s campaign on December 2
The Indian CS:GO team will be leading the country’s charge at the IESF’s 14th World Esports Championship as they take on Tajikistan in their opener on December 2.
A team, comprising of skipper Ritesh Sarda (Defaulter), Shuvajyoti Chakraborty (Mcg1LLzZz), Anshul Adarkar (KiiLSwitCh), Hrishikesh Shenoy (Crazy_Gamer) and Harsh Jain (lynX) has been placed in the Group C along with Tajikistan, Team IESF and Chile. After their eighth-place finish in the last edition of the tournament held in Eilat, Israel, the team will be determined to clinch a podium finish this time around.
Team India CS:GO captain Ritesh Sarda said “It’s been a great honour to represent India back-to-back in the WEC. We as a team are excited and prepared to play in the upcoming WEC starting next week in Bali. The world finals is going to be a huge spectacle. With the right mentality and proper grind, we have high hopes for the tournament and will try to bring the laurels to the country.”
Organised by International Esports Federation (IESF), the upcoming 14th World Esports Championship will witness the participation of top athletes from over 120 countries, competing in six different Esports titles—CS:GO, Dota 2, Tekken 7, eFootball as well as debutants PUBG Mobile and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Bang. With a massive prize pool of USD 500K (INR 4 crores approximately) up for grabs, the tournament will be conducted in Bali from December 1 to 12. Team India consists of the same athletes which represented India at the last World Esports Championship in Eilat and had won the National Qualifiers (NESC2022).
Besides CS:GO, India will also participate in the Tekken 7 and eFootball titles.
“This is another great opportunity post the Commonwealth Esports Championship for India’s esports athletes to prove their metal. With Olympics also announcing “Olympic Esports Week”, esports is inching towards its Woodstock moment; and medals in events like CEC, WEC will help in establishing India as a dominant-esports powerhouse’ globally. This set of our athletes have great potential and we are confident that they will give a tough challenge to the world’s best and emerge victorious and make our glorious nation proud. I wish them all the very best and look forward to see them triumph in their respective titles” said Yugal Kishore Sharma, Director of Esports Federation of India.
Hitesh Khorwal (Rcool) and Hemanth Kommu (Peshemak7) will represent India in the Tekken 7 and eFootball titles respectively.
Khorwal will battle it out against athletes from Pakistan, Bahamas, Venezuela and Palestine in the Group E and will be beginning his challenge against Lucius Antoine of the Bahamas on December 3.
The Indian’s clash against Arslan Siddique of Pakistan on the same day following his opening game will be one to watch out for. Arslan has won the VSFighting X, Dreamhack 2022 and Combo Breaker 2022 titles earlier this year.
“I am really glad that I will be representing India in WEC this year, this feeling is adorable and I can’t explain my emotions. WEC is always an arduous task for Tekken participants since our scene has progressed tremendously well and reached a new zenith. So it’s a moment to cherish for me. It creates a perfect scenery of success for me after putting my blood and sweat into this game. This time I am more devised for the WEC. As a mountain to climb it already is, I feel confident as well as prepared for this. It’s a great opportunity to prove my mettle against the literal virtuosos of the title and my body, soul and mind, is ready for it. Bring it on, Bali!” Hitesh expressed his excitement ahead of the World Championship Finals.
Kommu, on the other hand, will be competing against athletes from Kazakhstan, Armenia and Guinea in Group P. He will play his first match against Cheick Conde of Guinea on December 3.
“It’s an amazing feeling and honour to represent our country at the 14th WEC. It’s a huge opportunity for me to play at such a big event with the top players from different countries competing. I’m confident with my grind and will try my best to get the best results in the tournament and want to bring some glory from it back home.” Hemanth said while expressing his thoughts on getting the opportunity to represent India in the world finals.
The group stage games for Tekken 7 will be contested in the best-of-three format and for CS:GO it will be in the best-of-one.
Following the conclusion of the group stage, the Top-2 teams from each group will progress into the next round in the CS:GO and Tekken 7 titles while for eFootball only the top team of the group will qualify for the next stage.
SuperGaming and Google Cloud Collaborate to Empower Game Developers with a SuperPlatform
Leading Indian game developer SuperGaming has chosen Google
Cloud to bring its best-in-class live-ops engine, SuperPlatform, to game developers the world
over. This will empower game developers to make better games with battle-tested cloud
infrastructure that currently powers all of SuperGaming’s efforts. This includes PAC-MAN, which
has more than one billion downloads across all storefronts, and its multiplayer shooter
MaskGun, which has more than 65 million players.
SuperPlatform will run on Google Cloud and will enable game developers to manage live ops,
matchmaking, player progression, player data, analytics, monetization systems, server scaling,
sales, and merchandising. It also integrates with popular game development platforms.
“The SuperPlatform is at the core of what makes our games tick,” says Roby John, CEO and
co-founder, SuperGaming. “It’s been made by game developers, for game developers, and after
years of iteration, finesse, and supporting some marquee games like PAC-MAN, we felt it’s the
right time to share it with more game developers. Google Cloud’s reach, technical expertise, and
best-in-class infrastructure made it an obvious choice as our partner to bring this to market.”
SuperPlatform is a SaaS (software as a service) and will be an ISV (independent software
vendor) running on Google Cloud, which provides secure, scalable, and sustainable
infrastructure that will enable more game developers to access SuperPlatform at scale.
“Gaming is a big focus for Google Cloud. We have scaled our global investments in this space
and are excited about the response we are getting from the market. ” says Bikram Singh Bedi,
managing director, Google Cloud India. “Advancements like the SuperPlatform are welcome
additions to an ever-evolving ecosystem. With Google Cloud’s infrastructure that enables
developers to build at scale and SuperGaming’s pedigree in gaming, we can really drive impact
and innovation and see more games come out of India.”
“By working closely with Google Cloud engineers and SDKs, a lot of our initial friction was
eased,” says Navneet Singh Waraich, chief technology officer and co-founder, SuperGaming.
“One key for us and our SuperPlatform customers is choice, and the ability to migrate our entire
orchestration as needed for cost-effectiveness without disrupting the game client or server
integrations on the frontend. This was a major plus for choosing to build our current stack on
In addition to this, upcoming SuperGaming titles such as Indo-Futuristic battle royale, Indus and
Tower Conquest Metaverse Edition will also run on Google Cloud.
Asaa88 Appoints Rivaldo Vitor Borba Ferreira as Brand Ambassador
Online gaming company Asaa88 has appointed Rivaldo Vitor Borba Ferreira as its Brand Ambassador.
Rivaldo Vitor Borba Ferreira is a former professional footballer from Brazil. Rivaldo is regarded as one of the greatest football players of all time.
The agreement grants Asaa88 advertising rights to Rivaldo as Brand Ambassador for the entirety of the Firm’s advertising and marketing campaigns in Asia, throughout which he will present across its major businesses. The partnership with Rivaldo strengthens Asaa88’s core values, representing the company’s commitment and dedication to expanding the brand’s appearance and positioning it as the top gaming destination for all Asian players.
“I’m excited to start this collaboration with Asaa88 because they express my great love of football, and I’m looking forward to playing a role in their many plans to publicise the company to current and future players across Asia,” Rivaldo said.
The General Manager of Asaa88 said: “We are excited to welcome Rivaldo to Asaa88, a man who shares many of the same beliefs as our brand and who is constantly looking for potential to achieve greatness. Rivaldo is a true sports exemplar who inspires fans worldwide to aspire for the highest levels of excellence. He is one of the most powerful and successful captains to have ever competed at the top standard of professional football. Rivaldo will support us engage our Asian potential users, and working with him as a brand ambassador is one of many exciting upcoming projects for Asaa88 in coming year.”
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