The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) is undergoing a transition towards becoming a purely regulatory body.
Alejandro H. Tengco, Pagcor's chairman and chief executive officer, said the planned privatization of state-run casinos will be completed within the next two years.
Tengco said Pagcor is actively preparing for the transition and holding town hall meetings with employees to address concerns. Measures are being implemented to mitigate personnel displacement and ensure a smooth transition.
Pagcor is making changes in its corporate structure, business processes, and procedures to enhance responsiveness and competitiveness.
Modernization of existing casinos is planned to attract more players and make Pagcor's assets more appealing to potential buyers.
New regulations have been introduced for international gaming licensees to combat illegal activities.
Pagcor privatization to be completed by 2025
At a glance
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) said the privatization of state-run casinos is set to be completed within the next two years.
Alejandro H. Tengco, Pagcor chairman and chief executive officer, said the agency is currently undergoing a transition towards functioning solely as a regulatory body, relinquishing its current dual role as both operator and regulator.
Tengco expects the process to be finalized by 2025, with the aim of “level the playing field and ensure future growth and viability for all gaming industry players.”
“We have started preparing for this transition in earnest, and we are starting where it matters most – within Pagcor itself,” Tengco said during a recent forum in Manila.
He emphasized that as an organization with four decades of experience, Pagcor is well aware of its strengths and limitations.
“We certainly know our potentials and capability to become the gold standard in the Asian gaming scene,” the Pagcor chief said.
He assured that they highly value their employees as their greatest asset. However, the transition to a solely regulatory role may have an impact on some staff members.
As a result, Tengco said they are actively developing plans to prevent displacement, particularly in Pagcor-operated casinos that will undergo privatization.
For this reason, he said that they have been conducting town hall meetings with Pagcor employees across the country in the past few months.
“We tell them there is no reason to worry because we have plans in place to mitigate, if not totally avoid, any personnel displacement,” Tengco said.
“You will be surprised to know how people react to our plans, and how they express their trust in our process,” he noted.
The Pagcor chief highlighted that the agency is also making essential adjustments to its corporate structure, business processes, and procedures to enhance responsiveness and competitiveness.
As part of the transition plans, Tengco said Pagcor aims to consolidate its operations into a single corporate office to improve coordination, efficiency, and overall performance.
Additionally, Pagcor plans to modernize its existing casinos with the goal of attracting more players and making its assets more appealing to potential buyers.
Tengco also said that Pagcor has recently introduced new regulations for international gaming licensees to reduce, if not completely eliminate, illegal activities associated with the industry.
Earlier, he said Pagcor planned to modernize first the digital security and technology infrastructure of its Casino Filipino facilities before hitting the auction block.
Tengco said the government's gaming regulator will invest in the modernization of Casino Filipino's Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Cybersecurity infrastructure.
Tengco explained that the purpose of the ICT and cybersecurity upgrade is to enhance the value of the Casino Filipino properties prior to their privatization as gaming venues. (Gabriell Christel Galang)