The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) said on Saturday that the agency has lost around P13 billion in revenues, as lotto outlets were also shut down due to quarantine restrictions because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
“Most likely mga P13 billion ang nawala po na maaaring kinita ng aming ahensya mula noong nag-lockdown (We likely lost P13 billion in income ever since government implemented the lockdown.),” said PCSO General Manager Royina Garma, in the Laging Handa briefing on state TV on Saturday.
Since March, lotto outlets have been closed when lockdowns were enforced as the country faced the COVID-19 pandemic.
The outlets were touted as a source of income for charity programs offered by the PCSO.
Garma said they have been preparing for the re-opening of lotto outlets where minimum health standards set by the government will be followed. Such resumption has yet to get approval.
PCSO is also mulling the use of “digital” means of betting to discourage people from lining up and buying tickets from physical outlets as quarantine measures remain.
Metro Manila and some parts of Luzon considered as high-risk areas were under strict lockdown for about two months but shifted to general community quarantine on June 1./Stacy Ang