The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) has told media sources that they will cancel the remainder of their events for 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The move comes in response to the latest directives of the Philippine government concerning fiscal policy during the pandemic.
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) released their National Budget Circular report. It announced there will be a discontinuance of appropriated programs, projects, and activities for the remainder of the year. This will affect the PSC and national sports programs as they fall under supervision from the Office of the President. The report has allocated government funds to help fight against the coronavirus.
The good news is that the UAAP, NCAA, and PBA do not fall under that category and will be able to resume when they see fit. The bad news programs such as the ASEAN Paragames, and the Philippine National games will not happen this year as they were intended. However, these events could be scheduled for a later date or postponed until after the virus has run its course.
The PSC chairman William Ramirez responded to the action by saying that he understands the need for additional aid to fight the pandemic. However, the PSC will still stand by their commitment to take care of their national athletes and sports. Chairman Ramirez said that the allowance for national athletes would be taken care of by the PSC’s revenue stream from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).
PAGCOR is mandated by law to allot 5% of its revenue to the national sports agency. PAGCOR officials announced that they have seen a drop of 50% revenue for the first quarter of 2020 due to the virus and ordered casino closings. This revenue drop will directly affect how much the PSC will receive from the government agency.
In recent months since the coronavirus arrived in the Philippines, many things have changed. Stay at home orders are still in effect for most Filipinos, and most businesses remain closed. The National Capital Region is especially vulnerable due to its population and close net business districts. The virus is still on the rise, and President Duterte is doing all he can to protect his citizens from the respiratory illness.
Not only have domestic sports betting stopped in the Philippines, but with all the national league postponements and cancellations, it has affected betting around the world. Filipinos can still access sportsbooks operating legally online, but to be honest, there isn’t much to bet on in terms of traditional game lines. You can find a bunch of futures for football, basketball, soccer, and other popular sports, but for now, game lines are almost entirely off the table.
Season sports bettors have been forced to pursue new revenue streams, including betting on virtual sports, esports, and game sims. These alternative sports betting options have proved fruitful for some, but for many, it is not the same as traditional sports betting.