PAGCOR TO BECOME A PURELY GAMING REGULATOR – TENGCO

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The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) is in the process of transition towards becoming a purely regulatory body from its current dual role as both operator and regulator, Chairman and CEO Alejandro H. Tengco said.

Tengco made the remarks during the opening session of the IAG Academy Summit on Sept. 13, 2023 at Hilton Manila where he was the keynote speaker and later one of the panelists in a forum called “Voice of the Umpire: Regulators’ Talk”.

PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Alejandro H. Tengco (2nd from right) is one of the speakers during the IAG Academy Summit panel discussion, “Voice of the Umpire: Regulators Talk” held on September 13, 2023. Also in photo are (from left) Khim Oudam, Deputy Director of Legal Affairs and Licensing Department of the Cambodian Commercial Gambling Management Commission; Peter Cohen, The Agenda Group’s Director of Regulatory Affairs and Andrew Scott, Vice Chairman and CEO of the Inside Asian Gaming.

According to Tengco, PAGCOR’s shift to a purely regulatory function is part of the agency’s goal to “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,” he said, adding that the process should be completed by 2025.

Tengco said that as a 40-year organization, PAGCOR knows its strengths and is aware of its limitations.

PAGCOR President and COO Atty. Juanito Sañosa, Jr. (6th from left) and PAGCOR Director Gilbert Remulla (5th from left) join the movers and shakers of the Asian gaming industry during the IAG Academy IR Awards Night held on September 13, 2023 at the Hilton Manila.

“We certainly know our potentials and capability to become the gold standard in the Asian gaming scene,” he said.

He said PAGCOR recognizes its people as its greatest asset but the shift to a purely regulatory role could impact some employees, thus the crafting of plans to avoid displacement especially in PAGCOR-operated casinos that will need to be privatized.

PAGCOR President and COO Atty. Juanito Sañosa, Jr. is one of the presenters during the IAG Academy IR Awards Night held on September 13, 2023 at the Hilton Manila.

“We have been going around the country during the past few months, holding town hall meetings with our employees,” he said. “We tell them there is no reason to worry because we have plans in place to mitigate, if not totally avoid, any personnel displacement.

“You will be surprised to know how people react to our plans, and how they express their trust in our process,” Tengco said.

The PAGCOR chief said the agency is also “making necessary changes in its corporate structure, business processes and procedures to make it more responsive and competitive.”

PAGCOR’s General Manager for Licensing and Regulatory Group Daniel C. Cecilio (2nd from left) is one of the panelists during the second day of the IAG Academy Summit held from September 13-14, 2023 at the Hilton Manila. Together with Dennis Andreaci, Senior VP of Casino Hann Resorts (left) and Hakan Dagtas, Chief Operating Officer of Newport World Resorts (2nd from right), they discussed the state of the gaming industry in the Philippines as well as its unique challenges and opportunities. Andrew Scott, Vice Chairman and CEO of Inside Asian Gaming (right) served as panel discussion moderator.

Transition plans include moving into a single corporate office to enhance coordination, efficiency and performance as well as modernizing existing casinos to attract more players and make PAGCOR’s assets more attractive to potential buyers.

Tengco told the summit audience, which includes regulators from the Asia-Pacific region, that PAGCOR has also recently implemented new regulations for international gaming licensees to lessen, if not eliminate, illegal activities.

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