Lottery sales fall as ticket prices rise due to TRAIN law: PCSO

Michael Delizo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 07 2019 08:50 PM

Bettors line up in an outlet in Quezon City in September 28, 2018, in the hopes of winning the record-breaking P765 million jackpot in the Ultra Lotto 6/58. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) said Thursday it saw a drop in lottery sales due to smaller jackpot amounts and higher ticket prices.

According to PCSO General Manager Alexander Balutan, the February revenue from lotto plunged by 39.19 percent, registering only P1,587,785,710 sales compared to the same period last year with P2,611,320,180. 

In January, Balutan reported a P1,930,393,950 overall sales for lotto and digit games, which is 30 percent lower compared to the same period last year. 

Arnel Casas, assistant general manager for Gaming Sector, explained that recent lower jackpot prizes do not entice players.

He said the decline in bettors was also due to the implementation of new price scheme for lotto and other gaming ticket prices, from P5 to P6, P10 to P12, and P20 to P24. 

He said PCSO had to raise prices because of the higher tax to PCSO’s document stamp tax (DST) that was brought about by the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law.

The law also imposed a 20-percent tax on winnings of more than P10,000 from Lotto, Keno, Small Town Lottery (STL), sweepstakes, and other PCSO products. 

“We are trying to counter [it] with the implementation of ‘balik-taya’,” Cases said. 

Of all Lotto products, Ultra Lotto 6/58 had the highest drop by 60.11 percent with only P166,254,440 sales, compared with P416,886,040 sales last year.

Lotto 6/42 followed by -32.08 percent to P141,526,380 from P208,376,100 sales last year; Mega Lotto 6/45 by -29.03 percent to P151,347,480 from P213,281,080; Super Lotto by -28.32 percent to P146,748,500 from P204,748,760; and Grand Lotto 6/55 by -17.22 percent to P166,990,240 from P201,736,720. 

As for digit games, 3 Digits registered the highest decline by 51.97 percent to P342,821,210 from P713,824,280; followed by EZ2 by -28.36 percent to P421,705,720 from P588,685,380; 4-Digits by -22.74 percent to P32,463,880 from P42,022,850; and 6-Digits by 17.60 percent to P17,927,860 from P21,759,320. Keno sales also declined by 50.37 percent to P219,643,880 from P442,580,610. 

Balutan said the lottery products are “jackpot-driven,” and despite the higher tax, he assumed that the sales will soon pick up in the next months. 

"Sales will definitely pick up in the coming months kapag tumaas ang ating jackpot prize. Hindi naman kasi pwedeng walang manalo,” said Balutan.