PAGCOR Releases Statement Denying Misinformation About Plans For Privatization

Home » PAGCOR Releases Statement Denying Misinformation About Plans For Privatization

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) has officially published a statement combating misinformation regarding its plans for privatization.

The impact of misinformation:

In the aforementioned statement, the gaming regulatory agency points out that the roll out of misinformation has caused unnecessary demotivation of workers. In this regard, Alejandro H. Tengco, President and CEO of PAGCOR, particularly quoted a social media post written by PAGCOR worker Gian Samson, who alleged that the said agency intended to officially spend PHP 500m, which is approximately $8.9m, to refurbish its Casino Filipino located in Angeles City.

Commenting on the aforementioned claims, Tengco commented: “There is absolutely no truth to Mr. Samson’s allegations because the renovations will be fully shouldered by the lessor. PAGCOR will not spend a single centavo on the renovation.”

Furthermore, in the said post, Samson claimed that the main goal of the refurbishment plan is to beautify the aforementioned branch in order to lure potential purchasers once it’s officially privatized. But Tengco clarified that the said refurbishment is part of the agency’s devotion to offer more advanced services and facilities to lure an additional number of customers, securing the lucrativeness of its operations.

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In this regard, President Tengco commented according to Asia Gaming Brief: “We do not own the building where CF Angeles is located; that is why we made arrangements with the lessor to shoulder the renovation expenses because they are the property owner, and PAGCOR is just the lessee.” However, he added: “This is the same arrangement we are pursuing with our Casino Filipino branch in Bacolod as part of our overall efforts to make our casinos more attractive to customers, benefiting all of us at PAGCOR, as well as the government.”

Privatization of  PAGCOR’s casinos to start in the final quarter of 2025:

Official privatization of PAGCOR-owned casinos would start during the final quarter of 2025, which is the earliest possible date. Additionally, it will offer enough time for the regulatory agency to offer solutions to those who will be affected by the said process.

Relatedly, he denied the allegations of the Samson’s group that the approximate number of 10.000 workers will be thrown out of their respective positions in the aforementioned privatization. On that note, he explained: “We are not disbanding PAGCOR; we are only divesting our casino operations, while many workers will remain in regulatory, enforcement, monitoring, and electronic gaming licensing units, among others.”

He also advised: “I thus appeal to our employees not to believe all the lies being peddled by some disgruntled individuals. We are here to safeguard your welfare, but you need to allow us to do our job.”

The privatization plans were initially revealed in March of 2023, with the main objective of transforming PAGCOR into a “purely regulatorybody. The privatization means that the agency’s state-owned casinos, which are small, will be sold for PHP80bln, which is approximately $1.4bln.

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PAGCOR wants to lower fees for iGaming operators to 35% in March:

In other news, Tengco also unveiled that PAGCOR decided to cut the fees for online gaming operators to 35% in March of this current year. Beside the aforementioned fee reduction, at the moment, PAGCOR is also advocating for a reduction in tax on documentary stamps and lower taxes on winnings. In this regard, Tengco said that since he was first named as the chairman of PAGCOR two years ago, back in 2022 to mid-2023, the said regulator has tried to refine and go over each of the existing regulations and structures in order to “make them more” in tune with times.

Relatedly, he also commented that the Philippines, as the sole Southeast Asian region that essentially regulates online gaming licenses and land-based casinos, must utilize this upper hand to lure extra investment to its iGaming industry.

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