PAGCOR chief favours casino privatisation


The newly appointed Chairman & CEO of PAGCOR, Alejandro Tengco, believes that privatising the organisation’s casinos could be the most logical way forward for the Philippines gaming regulator, allowing it to focus on a single mandate instead.

Nine days into his new role, and speaking at a House appropriations committee hearing, Tengco told lawmakers he would need time to consider options but that the sell-off of casino assets was appealing.

“We are hoping to be given time to study this. That is part of our current thrust and agenda to really distinguish whether we are a regulator or an operator,” Tengo told reporters.

“If we will be able to draw the line and distinguish, the option will be PAGCOR, if that should happen, will be the regulator for gaming operations, both land-based and online. For the PAGCOR-operated casinos nationwide, if we make decisions, the best thing that we could foresee is privatise.”

Tengco’s comments follow Finance Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno’s earlier statement that, “PAGCOR’s new leadership will have to make known their plans moving forward. They should resolve the seemingly conflicting roles as an operator and regulator.”

PAGCOR first announced in August 2016 that it intended to sell its 47 casinos under the order of former President Rodrigo Duterte, with the goal of raising funds towards the national budget.