Monday AUgust 29,2016 : PAGCOR ORDERED TO SELL OFF GAMBLING ASSETS
Privatization of state assets will help fund national budget.
Having all but dismembered the online gambling industry, the Philippines government of President Rodrigo Duterte has now focused on the land casino interests of state-owned Pagcor as a possible source to fund the national budget.
Philippines media reports Monday are that Pagcor chief Andrea Domingo has informed a parliamentary budget committee that the organization has been directed to privatize its land casino assets in order to help fund a proposed P 3.4 trillion national budget for 2016-2017.
“Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez has told us to privatize Pagcor-owned casinos,” Domingo said. “We are now preparing the template for the planned privatization so we could maximize the benefits for the government.”
She added that there were no plans to abandon Pagcors regulatory role, and did not discuss possible sales pricing, although in answer to questions she revealed that Pagcor earned P 48 billion in 2015, with license fees constituting half of the revenue and gaming operations the remainder.
That translates to an annual revenue loss to the government over and above that incurred in crippling the domestic online gambling market. Philweb alone contributed around P10 billion a year to Pagcor coffers.
Last week Pagcor announced that it would offer six-month duration online gambling licenses to operators who agreed not to access Filipino punters Unconfirmed industry reports suggest these will be priced at around $200,000, with a fee of $10,000 per table a month, and a $100 per slot machine player. Licensees would also need to put up a $250,000 cash bond.
Domingo also intimated that Pagcor was planning to issue additional land casino licenses outside Manila, observing:
“It’s 100 percent money. This is going to augment our revenue without breaking any of the pronouncements of the president not to have Filipinos get into the gaming habit,” she said.