Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor) will terminate its operating functions by 2025 to exclusively focus on regulatory work. In the opening session of the recent IAG Academy Summit, regulator’s chairman Alejandro Tengco reportedly said that the move represents a part of the agency’s objective to “level the playing field and ensure future growth and viability for all gaming industry players.” 

Pagcor Entered Transition

Pagcor CEO and Chairman continued that the agency has already got down to the transition process. ”We are starting where it matters most – within Pagcor itself,” Tengco reportedly said. “We certainly know our potentials and capability to become the gold standard in the Asian gaming scene.” He also said that Pagcor’s transition from operating to regulatory role is expected to be completed by 2025, as GGRAsia reports.

Transition Driven by Announced Sale

The move to separate the operating and regulatory roles of the state-owned gaming authority in the Philippine gambling market comes after the agency’s plans announced in March 2023 to sell its network of retail gaming facilities and small casinos. Pagcor has been set to upgrade around 3,000 gaming machines to add value to the transaction which was reportedly expected to generate PHP80 billion (US$1.41 billion) for the agency and the state alike, as the Pagcor’s ownership status prescribes the respective 50:50 profit distribution.

Process Continues to Impact Employees

It seems that the process continues as Alejandro Tengco, who was a keynote speaker at the IAG Summit held on September 13,2023 in Manilla, reportedly said that the agency would focus on the regulatory function rather than be further involved as an operator. He reportedly said that the agency’s commitment could “impact some employees.” As reported, Pagcor considers them its ”greatest asset”, and is therefore ”crafting plans to avoid displacement especially in Pagcor-operated casinos that will need to be privatised.”

Redundancy Mitigation Efforts

Tengco reportedly said: “We have been going around the country during the past few months, holding town hall meetings with our employees. We tell them there is no reason to worry because we have plans in place to mitigate, if not totally avoid, any personnel displacement.” He added that Pagcor is also committed to “making necessary changes in its corporate structure, business processes and procedures to make it more responsive and competitive.”

Handling Transition from Corporate Hub

As AGB reports, the regulator plans to move into a single corporate office to be able to efficiently coordinate its activities, as well as to proceed with the upgrade of its existing casino facilities to attract more potential buyers.The transition is expected to complete by 2025, according to GGRAsia, when Pagcor will be able to exclusively focus on its regulatory function in the Philippine gambling market.