According to reports, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., the recently elected president of the Philippines, has been urged to create a new state-run regulator for the country’s casino industry. According to a report from Inside Asian Gaming, Rufus Rodriguez’s appeal comes as criticism of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCor) for playing both an operating and regulatory role in casinos is growing. According to the source, this organization oversees a portfolio of 47 properties that allow gambling while also being in charge of managing programs to promote responsible gambling and issuing licenses.
In the past:
Following a directive from the then-President Rodrigo Duterte, PAGCor, which was founded in 1977, was scheduled to start selling off its operating interests in 2016. The argument that the enterprise’s properties provided a valuable source of income for a country struggling to repair its fragile economy caused this campaign to be initially delayed by two years before being permanently postponed.
According to reports, Rodriguez has now provided a fresh perspective on this age-old debate by urging the government to establish the Philippine Casino Gaming Regulatory Authority and then permit it to act as the country’s top gambling industry watchdog. The 68-year-old allegedly revealed that such a move would prevent PAGCor from needing to be privatized and would enable the business to continue to be successful by focusing solely on its operator responsibilities.
Apparently read a statement by Rodriguez…
“I am vehemently opposed to privatizing PAGCor, so why kill, or more appropriately, why sell the goose that lays the golden eggs? It’s not fair to businessmen investing in casinos as this situation of PAGCor being both a regulator and a player is not conducive to attracting investments,” the author argues.
Up to date leadership:
Prior to the 2019 flu pandemic, PAGCor’s casino estate is said to have generated combined gross gaming revenues of about $660 million. More recently, first-half aggregated receipts increased by 68% year over year to about $475 million. A new five-member board of directors took over management of the organization last month. Local businessman Alejandro Tengco served as chairman and chief executive officer, and attorney Juanito Sanosa served as president and chief operating officer.
Call for consideration:
In addition to once serving as a special assistant to well-known local businessman Antonio “Tonyboy” Cojuangco, who is known to be an ally of Japanese billionaire casino magnate Kazuo Okada, Tengco, a former vice mayor of the Bulacan Province city of Malolos, reportedly owns construction giant Nationstar Development Corporation. The person allegedly said that Rodriguez’ suggestion might be the best course of action for PAGCor, but he also said that he needed more time to fully consider it.