The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) is shifting toward becoming a purely regulatory body from its current dual role as both operator and regulator, a process that should finish within two years, Chairman and CEO Alejandro H. Tengco said.
engco made the remarks during the opening session of the IAG Academy Summit on September 13 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.”
According to the PAGCOR chief, its 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 arestarting 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.
“We certainly know our potentials and capability to become the gold standard in the Asian gaming scene,” he said.
He said the government firm recognizes its people as its greatest asset, but the shift to a purely regulatory role could impact someemployees, thus the crafting of plans to avoid displacement, especially in PAGCOR-operated casinos that will need to be privatized.
“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,” Mr. 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.”
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.