In the Philippines and newly-elected President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr has reportedly appointed close friend Alejandro Tengco (pictured) to serve as the next Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for the nation’s Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCor) regulator.
According to a Tuesday report from The Philippine Star newspaper, the incoming figure is to replace Andrea Domingo as head of the state-run organization also responsible for six Casino Filipino-branded venues alongside a nationwide chain of about 30 satellite gambling properties. The move purportedly came as part of a wide-ranging shake-up that moreover saw prominent local attorney Juanito Sanosa picked to serve as the body’s latest President and Chief Operating Officer.
The newspaper reported that Tengco’s appointment ended months of speculation as to who was to lead PAGCor following the departure of Domingo, who has been in charge of the Manila-headquartered regulator for a little over six years following her selection by former President Rodrigo Duterte. Sixty-four-year-old Marcos was purportedly even forced to deny rumors in July that he was to name high-profile election lawyer George Erwin Garcia as his nation’s top gaming watchdog.
The Philippines Star reported that Tengo once served as the Vice-Mayor for the Bulacan Province city of Malolos and is to now lead a PAGCor board of directors containing Sanosa as well as Gilbert Cesar Remulla, Francis Democrito Concordia and Jose Maria Ortega. The newspaper went on to note that Marcos’ latest pick additionally owns construction giant Nationstar Development Corporation and once served as a special assistant to prominent local businessman Antonio ‘Tonyboy’ Cojuangco, who is known to be an ally of Japanese billionaire casino magnate Kazuo Okada.
For its part and Asia Gaming Brief used its own report to disclose that PAGCor has generated some $6.6 billion in gross gaming revenues since 2016 with approximately 63% of this cash at around $4.2 billion having been handed over to the government via a range of state-mandated contributions and other corporate social responsibility programs. This source detailed that the organization’s most recent first-half net income after tax significantly recovered year-on-year to top $38.3 million while it could collect as much as $160.5 million over the course of the next twelve months via the country’s array of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO) license holders.
Upon hearing of Tengco’s appointment and Domingo reportedly told Asia Gaming Brief that she had worked tirelessly to make PAGCor a leading regional gaming regulator and subsequently help her nation’s efforts at rebuilding and strengthening its economy. The 72-year-old purportedly furthermore proclaimed that it will be important for her successor ‘to stay focused, keep abreast with the latest gaming trends, be innovative and transparent’ as the economic pain of the coronavirus pandemic ‘is still being felt in all industries worldwide.’
Reportedly read a statement from Domingo…
“The next PAGCOR chief should also continue providing for the citizens’ needs and must be concerned about the welfare of the employees. It is always a good practice to follow the law and level the playing field for all.”