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PAGCOR privatization may be conflict of interest – PH Finance Sec

July 25, 2023 Philippines Industry Updates

The Philippines’s regulatory agency for the gaming industry, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation or PAGCOR, has recently voiced its plans for privatization; PH Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno says that this may create a conflict of interest.

Original story by GGRAsia

Philippine Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno recently expressed that the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor) should no longer continue its dual role as both operator and regulator of the country’s gaming industry.

He emphasized that best practices dictate the need for separation, as operating and regulating simultaneously creates conflicting interests. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr, the country’s leader, also understands the potential drawbacks of having the same entity serve as both operator and regulator in the gaming industry.

Alejandro Tengco, Pagcor’s chairman and chief executive, had earlier announced plans for the privatization of the casino operations, focusing on transforming Pagcor into a purely regulatory body.

The sale of the Casino Filipino-branded chain of public-sector casinos is expected to raise approximately PHP 80 billion.

Finance Secretary Diokno stated that this privatization process would not necessitate new legislation, and the Department of Finance can handle the turnover.

The Governance Commission for Government-Owned or -Controlled Corporations (GCG) could be involved in this process through a proposed executive order.

Regarding the online gaming sector, Pagcor’s plans to launch an online casino platform called “casinofilipino.com” in the first quarter of the following year were announced by Mr. Tengco at the SiGMA Asia conference in Manila.

The operation and management of this online brand are still under discussion. Recently, PAGCOR cited an uptick of revenue growth at 35.6%. The government agency, which recently celebrated its 40th year cited that its contributions could reach PHP 70B by year’s end.

On top of its plans to modernize Casino Filipino before privatization, PAGCOR has also

Read the original story by GGRAsia here https://www.ggrasia.com/pagcor-dual-role-conflict-of-interest-finance-secretary/

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