Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) Chairman and CEO Alejandro H. Tengco discussed the agency’s plans and programs to make the Philippines a leading gaming destination in the ASEAN region.
Chairman Tengco was invited to deliver the Keynote Address on the third day of the G2E Asian IR Summit in Macau on July 13, 2023. In his speech, the PAGCOR chief expressed optimism that with the gaming regulatory reforms which the agency is undertaking, the Philippine gaming industry will be more responsive to the needs of the changing times while addressing the social ills that come with gaming operations.
The Philippine gaming industry started to bounce back as it gradually transitioned into the new normal. Following its mandate to regulate and uphold the integrity of gaming operations in the Philippines, PAGCOR generated P58.96 billion in 2022, an impressive 66.16% year-on-year increase from its P35.48 billion total income in 2021. Net income last year reached P4.45 billion, a 2,000% leap from P203.57 million recorded in 2021.
This achievement enabled the agency to fulfill its other role as the government’s partner in generating revenues for socio-civic programs by increasing its contributions to nation-building from P22.91 billion in 2021 to P34.67 billion in 2022.
In view of PAGCOR’s dual role as operator and regulator, its operations have been the subject of scrutiny by key decision makers and major gaming industry players.
Thus, since its assumption a year ago, the new PAGCOR Board of Directors has started strengthening the agency’s regulatory function and has promoted the privatization of PAGCOR-run Casino Filipino facilities. Such move will allow the corporation to grow and compete in both domestic and international markets through the infusion of new capital and advanced technologies which can facilitate expansions, upgrades and innovations.
“By focusing on its regulatory functions, PAGCOR will be able to avoid the complexities of running two different shows. It can also streamline its processes and create more revenues that will fund more high impact government projects,” Tengco said.
Before PAGCOR gaming venues are privatized, however, they will be upgraded to add value to the properties. Programs include the modernization of Information and Communication Technology and Cybersecurity infrastructure, including its Casino Management System and introduction of the Casino Filipino Online; upgrading of more than 3,000 electronic gaming machines (EGMs); and the updating of PAGCOR Technical Standards for EGMs.
To combat the proliferation of illegal gambling in the country, PAGCOR continuously coordinates with various law enforcement agencies. It has instituted reforms to address the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations which have been recently associated with crime, money laundering and corruption. It has canceled the contract entered by the previous Board with the third-party auditor for offshore gaming operations and has introduced new fees and imposed heavy fines and penalties to Licensees and Service Providers found to be engaged in criminal activities. Furthermore, accreditations were suspended and canceled and Licensees were held responsible for the conduct of their Service Providers.
Despite these, gross gaming revenue of online gaming operations is projected to reach P24 billion by the end of this year, more than double last year’s P11 billion.
Tengco stated, “We shall undertake this painstaking process to weed out the unscrupulous companies and individuals using the PAGCOR license for illegal activities, tainting the name of the whole industry and most especially the Philippines.”
PAGCOR has likewise accredited Gaming System Service Providers for Traditional Bingo, Electronic Bingo, Electronic (eCasino) Games, Sports Betting and E-Billiards. Its licensed casinos were recently allowed to use remote gaming platforms for their live casino games that cater to their registered casino players.
Currently, PAGCOR is studying the possibility of regulating other facets of the overseas gaming operations, or the possible regulation of a special class of Business Process Outsourcing.
Through closed borders during the COVID-19 pandemic, PAGCOR has evolved and continues to adapt to the changing times by licensing new gaming options within its jurisdiction and properly regulating them.
“I know much still needs to be done, but I believe that we are on the right track towards making the Philippines a prime gaming destination in the ASEAN region,” Tengco concluded.
India: Six People, Including Cops, Arrested After Ranchi Police Busts Illegal Gambling Den
Six people, including cops, were arrested after the Ranchi Police busted an illegal gambling group in the Gonda area of Jharkhand’s capital.
In recent news, six people, including cops were arrested after the Ranchi Police busted an illegal gambling den in the Gonda area of Jharkhand’s capital. Acting on the received information, a police team raided the spot. Reportedly, a sum of five lakh rupees was seized from the accused.
BJP State President Babulal Marandi raised his concern over the incident, emphasising on the involvement of police personnel stationed at CM Hemant Soren’s residence in the gambling operation. Marandi suggested that there might be pressure on the police, leading to potential manipulation of the case.
He even took to his official handle on X (formerly Twitter), to express his worries over the state’s leadership being involved in wrongdoings. He also questioned where the money earned from the gambling activities was going.
The station in-charge Ravi Thakur confirmed the arrests. A detailed investigation into the matter is underway. The illegal gambling activities were reportedly ongoing in the police like area for several days. Upon receiving the information about the illegal gambling den, Ranchi SSP formed the team who conducted the raid.
Genting Berhad Reports Group Revenue of $1.57 Billion for Q3 2023
Genting Berhad has posted its financial report for the third quarter of 2023, highlighting a 20.39% increase year-on-year in its group revenue to RM7.37bn ($1.57bn).
This improved performance in the group’s revenue was contributed mainly by the Leisure & Hospitality Division continuing to recover.
There was a significant increase in the group’s net profit from the previous year’s third quarter results, seeing them go up 177.16% to RM995m.
EBITDA also saw an increase, going up from RM2.06bn in the third quarter of 2022 to RM2.73bn in the third quarter of 2023, representing an increase of nearly 33%.
Resorts World Sentosa continued to benefit from the sustained recovery of travel and tourism within the region, seeing both revenue and EBITDA increase, while Resorts World Genting recorded higher revenue this quarter due to a higher volume of business registered by its gaming and non-gaming segments; owing to the relaxation of border control as compared to Q3 2022.
Genting mentions that its financial performance for the rest of the 2023 financial year may be impacted by a number of factors, including the continuation of domestic demand employment growth; and the regional gaming market is expected to continue its recovery as airline capacity and air connectivity in the region improves.
The report also mentions that Resorts World Sentosa has collaborated with a local charity organisation called Food from the Heart to fund, to enable the distribution of fresh, locally sourced produce to 2400 underprivileged families across the island over the next three years.
PAGCOR SCORES 99.46% IN GCG 2022 PERFORMANCE EVALUATION SYSTEM
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) recently received formal recognition from the Governance Commission for GOCCs or GCG for achieving a score of 99.46% in its annual Performance Evaluation System (PES) for 2022.
The score is one of the highest in the history of PAGCOR and was achieved on the first year under the leadership of Chairman and CEO Alejandro H. Tengco, who was appointed by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in August 2022.
PAGCOR’s score in the 2021 PES was 98.08%, while in 2020 it was 91.38%.
The award for 2022 was received by PAGCOR President and COO Atty. Juanito L. Sañosa during the inaugural GOCC Governance Awards Ceremony on November 20, 2023 at the PICC Complex in Pasay City.
Atty. Sañosa said the award elevated PAGCOR to the ranks of the best performing GOCCs in the country.
“This is truly another proud moment for PAGCOR. While this award serves as a validation of our efforts and hard work, it also inspires us to continuously exceed our past accomplishments – all in the service of our country,” he said.
The PES award is a recognition of the unwavering dedication to the highest standards of accountability and efficiency among government-owned and controlled corporations.
In the GCG report, PAGCOR garnered perfect scores in the following categories: Increased Contribution to National Government Coffers and Nation-Building Efforts; Increased Gross Gaming Revenue of the Industry; and Increased Revenue of PAGCOR; among others.
In his keynote speech during the awards ceremony, Executive Secretary Lucas P. Bersamin said GOOCs contributed Php48.68 billion in dividends in 2022, funding some of the most vital government socio-civic projects such as infrastructure, health, education, and others.
“It is beyond question that GOCCs are significant tools in adjuring inclusive economic growth and development for 2022. The Bureau of Treasury recorded Php48.68 billion dividends coming from different GOCCs that are covered under Republic Act 10149,” Bersamin noted.
In a statement, GCG Commissioner Atty. Brian Keith F. Hosaka encouraged all GOCCs to work closely together in making the GOCC sector a prime driver in delivering effective and efficient progress for Filipinos.
Aside from PAGCOR, twelve other GOCCs received awards for achieving the highest Corporate Governance Scorecard (CGS) ratings in 2022 while three bagged the CGS Hall of Fame.
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