The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) is a government agency in charge of sweepstakes and lotteries. Created in 1934 by Republic Act No. 301 the PCSO replaced the National Charity Sweepstakes. In their first fifty years of existence, their only source of revenue was from traditional sweepstake games. Today the PCSO is mandated to organize fundraisers and provide funds for health programs, medical services and charities for national causes. Money raised by the fundraisers goes into the President’s social fund to improve social welfare. The PCSO is committed to quality, excellence and their continual improvement in managing online lotteries and processing prize claims. The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office is under direct order from the Office of the President.
Today there are several sources of revenue for the PCSO, sweepstake drawings, the national lottery, small town lotteries and horse race betting. The revenue is broken into 3 different funds and disbursed among the proper accounts.
Prize Fund – 55% of their revenue goes into the prize fund. The prize fund is what the PCSO uses to pay the winnings for lottery tickets and horse race winners. Unclaimed prize winnings turn into the PCSO charity funds after 1 year.
Charity Fund – The charity fund is an account that is used to finance and support health programs. It also assists in funding medical services and charities of national character.
Operating Fund – The operating fund is approximately 15% of the revenue obtained which is used to support the day to day operating expenses as well as any maintenance expenses.
What Kind Of Lottery Games Does The PCSO Regulate?
The PCSO regulates the national lottery and the small-town lottery. The national lottery has multiple variations of games including Ultra Lotto, Grand Lotto, 6-Digit Game, 4-Digit Game, EZ 2 Lotto and several more. Here is a quick overview of some of the lottery games that Filipino’s can legally play.
Ultra-Lotto is the biggest lottery game offered by PCSO and has one of the highest jackpots with a minimum jackpot prize of 50 million (PHP). Players must match all six number to win the jackpot, but prizes are also given out for 3,4, or 5 number matches.
The 6-Digit Game is a pari-mutual game where the jackpot is divided equally among the winners if there is more than one winner. If there are no first prize winners, the prize pool will carry over to the next scheduled drawing.
EZ 2 Lotto is a daily digit game initially launched as an exclusive game for Luzon island. Players choose two numbers that they have to match in exact order for that specific draw. EZ 2 Lotto is a fixed prize game and anyone who matches the winning numbers in exact order wins $4,000 (PHP).
Online National Lottery Offred By The PCSO
In 1995, the PCSO launched the very first online lottery in the Philippines. The online activity brought a sense of fun and excitement to the players. The lottery was a big hit among the public and since then many games have been added to enhance the player’s experience. The online national lottery is still in use today and players can check their numbers by visiting the PCSO’s website or by watching the PCSO lottery draw on the Peoples Television Network (PTV). According to Philippine gambling laws, the national lottery can be played by anyone over 18 years of age.
In 2017 the PCSO launched and expanded the Small-Town Lottery (STL) into a total of 56 areas, whereas it was previously only available in 18 areas. The PCSO believes that the expansion of the SML will help curb illegal gambling operations outlined in Republic Act 9287, by offering legal games in areas that previously didn’t have access to those games. SML’s also benefit local governments and the Philippine National Police (PNP) financially because the PCSO donates a share of their tickets sales to those agencies.
The PCSO wants to improve the sweepstakes by making it more competitive. They recently implemented a computerized point of sale transaction that allows players to get their tickets for the specific games they want to play. The automated computer system and new ticket designs have enhanced the PCSO’s image and integrity among players. Over the years many different lottery games have been added to attract a wider appeal among Filipino players. “Doble Panalo” a sweepstakes game was added in 1998 to make the game more appealing to the general public. Sweepstakes and game improvements are expected to produce greater revenues for the PCSO agency.
One of the most beneficial charity services the PCSO offers to many Filipino people is free health and dental services. Since its conception, the PCSO has had over 25 outreach missions and through those services over 117k people benefited from the free medical services and over 28k people benefited from the free dental services. The PCSO also offers an Out-Patient Clinic which offers free consultations, minor surgeries, and emergency care. In the past, the PCSO has also offered financial assistance to people affected by natural disasters such as volcano eruptions, fire, and flooding.