PAGCOR Shifts Focus: Transitioning to Sole Regulatory Role in Philippines
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) is in the process of a significant transition, aiming to evolve from its current dual role as both an operator and regulator to becoming a purely regulatory body.
Alejandro H. Tengco, Chairman and CEO of PAGCOR, disclosed this strategic shift during the IAG Academy Summit on September 13, 2023, where he served as the keynote speaker and participated in a forum titled “Voice of the Umpire: Regulators’ Talk.”
Reasons for the Transition
Mr. Tengco outlined that PAGCOR’s decision to shift to a purely regulatory function is aligned with the agency’s objective to “level the playing field and ensure future growth and viability for all gaming industry players.” He emphasized that preparations for this transition are already underway and that the process is expected to be completed by 2025.
Acknowledging PAGCOR’s 40-year history, Mr. Tengco expressed confidence in the organization’s potential to become a benchmark in the Asian gaming scene. He emphasized that PAGCOR’s most valuable asset is its people but acknowledged that the transition to a purely regulatory role may impact some employees, particularly those in PAGCOR-operated casinos that will eventually need to be privatized. To address potential challenges, PAGCOR has been engaging in extensive dialogues with its employees, reassuring them that plans are in place to mitigate personnel displacement.
Adapting for the Future
Mr. Tengco further highlighted that PAGCOR is making essential changes in its corporate structure, business processes, and procedures to enhance responsiveness and competitiveness. These changes include consolidating into a single corporate office to improve coordination, efficiency, and overall performance. Additionally, PAGCOR plans to modernize its existing casinos to attract more players and make its assets more appealing to potential buyers.
In his address to the summit audience, which included regulators from the Asia-Pacific region, Mr. Tengco mentioned that PAGCOR has recently implemented new regulations for international gaming licensees. These regulations aim to reduce, if not eliminate, illegal activities within the gaming industry, further emphasizing PAGCOR’s commitment to fostering a secure and transparent gaming environment.