PAGCOR confirms plans to privatise casinos to end its dual role

PAGCOR’s chairman and CEO said the agency will end its dual role.
PAGCOR’s chairman and CEO said the agency will end its dual role.

Alejandro H. Tengco told G2E Asia that PAGCOR is committed to shifting to a purely regulatory role.

The Philippines.- Alejandro Tengco, chairman and CEO of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (PAGCOR), has confirmed that the regulator and operator will sell its casinos to end its dual role. Speaking at the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) Asia in Macau, he said the “privatisation of our casino operations is now at the forefront of our master plan, with Pagcor shifting its energy towards a purely regulatory role.”

PAGCOR currently regulates, authorises and licenses gaming in the Philippines but it also operates over 40 casinos itself. However, this dual role has been seen as a conflict of interests and a potentially unfair advantage over private-sector licensees.

Tengco said that privatisation would bring new capital, advanced technologies and expertise into the Philippine gaming market. He also said the move would streamline PAGCOR’s processes, stimulate expansions and innovations and generate additional revenues for high-impact government projects.

He said PAGCOR has already received expressions of interest. Plans are underway to upgrade venues, adding value to the properties and ensuring compliance with updated technical standards for electronic gaming machines. 

In 2022, the regulator remitted PHP1.95bn (US$34.74m) in cash to the country’s treasury. Tengco said the dividends were made possible by revenue of PHP58.96bn (US$1.05bn) generated in 2022.

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