The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) is a government-owned and government-controlled corporation that organizes lottery games in the Philippines. As the principal government agency for raising and providing funds for health programs, medical assistance, and services, PCSO plays a crucial role in the country's public health sector.
Lottery history - very short story
We, the active lottery players, can help other people indirectly. However, have you ever wondered how much money exactly goes to charity from the PCSO earnings? It's exciting that the lottery organizer in the Philippines gives money to different causes instead of just one. In contrast, in European countries, cash from the lotto or sports stakes often goes only for sports or health care.
Initial lotteries hundreds of years ago were only used to raise funds for building new streets or for more sophisticated needs. Moreover, only well-known people were allowed to take part in some of these lotteries. There was no opportunity for poor people to participate. The cost of the ticket was extremely high, making it only accessible to wealthy individuals who wanted to show their support for the king or to display their wealth. In some cases, people even used the lottery as a way to promote their own businesses. The potential winnings were not significant and not very high at all. Read more about gambling and lottery history in the Philippines.
PCSO sales report for 2015
There is a organization called the World Lottery Association. It gathers all possible data from lotto-organizing entities around the world. This way we have found some data about the sales from 2015 and 2014. Still waiting for the 2016 year data, which probably will be contained in the next WLA "compendium" release.
Taking everything into account what we know, is that in 2015 sales from draw-based games were equal to 37,407,494,347 PHP. It's more by 15% than the year before! This amount in USD is $822,091,421. Let's compare this amount with other countries. Considering our lottery spends, we are placed between Malaysia with $826,383,698 and Canada with $815,475,244.
The money that in some way went back to people is about 40% of all sales. The total in PHP is 15,399,943,452. The majority went to "other good causes," and it was 11,445,490,985. The smallest amount went for social activities and sports - respectively 35 and 60 million PHP. 388,212,162 PHP for education and 204,688,430 for culture.
PCSO sales and charity report for 2017
In 2017, sales of draw-based games in Philippine Pesos reached 53,005,709,208. In terms of US dollars, sales reached 1,051,622,964. A total of 18,035,109,999 Pesos was donated to charities.
Good causes which benefited from PCSO sales in 2017:
- Education: PHP 318,589,872
- Culture: PHP 13,007,361
- Social activities: PHP 12,142,343,962
- Sport: PHP 1,059,563
- Other good causes: PHP 244,547,236
PCSO earnings very low during covid pandemic in 2020
The PCSO office reported a significant decrease in earnings in 2020, with income totaling only PHP 18.63 billion. This is over 50% less than their earnings in 2019, which were PHP 44.03 billion. Even their 2019 earnings were lower than in 2018, when they earned PHP 63.57 billion. This drop in income has resulted in less money being available for charitable causes.
More about PCSO firm
In the end we want to present some other facts. PCSO is a public entity established in 1935. Nowadays it has 1,111 full-time employees. There are 11,070 points of lotto sales in the Philippines.
Source: Annual review on world-lotteries.org