P4.3B bust! COA urges PCSO to shut down lottery game Keno operated by Willy Ocier’s Pacific Online
The Commission on Audit is urging the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office to end the bleeding of its on-line lottery Keno which has racked up P4.283 billion in losses over the last 12 years.
In its annual audit report, COA said PCSO should stop Keno, which has been losing over P350 million a year as pay-outs have exceeded prize allocations since 2006, before it could lead to the “depletion of the reserve fund for lotto games.”
PCSO has 2,296 Keno terminals provided by Total Gaming Technologies Inc. in a lease contract set to expire in 2020. Total Gaming is a subsidiary of Pacific Online Systems Corp. led by president and chair Willy Ocier.
Total Gaming gets 10 per cent of the gross amount of ticket sales from Keno operations plus five per cent communication cost.
PCSO’s Gaming Department claimed that despite the red ink, Keno has been a positive contributor to its charity fund.
But COA said Keno has lost P1.437 billion more than it has contributed to the PCSO which showed that the project was “financially unviable.”
As of end 2017, COA said Keno has a prize fund deficit of P742 million and if “this trend shall continue, the consolidated prize fund might be eventually depleted.”
COA said Keno should reassess the viability of Keno by getting to the root of its chronic deficits and come u with new plans to stop the bleeding.
“Otherwise, consider the possibility of discontinuing the Keno operations if it will continuously incur deficits in the prize fund which is detrimental to the stability of the consolidated prize fund,” said COA.