Pagcor keen on staying on top of game | Inquirer Opinion
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Pagcor keen on staying on top of game

/ 08:28 PM March 31, 2013

We offer this clarification about our regulatory responsibilities, in response to the

Inquirer’s March 19 editorial titled “Regulate gambling.” The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. or Pagcor envisions a casino industry with a highly evolved regulatory environment. Such an environment is essential to the sustainability of the industry, especially in light of the establishment of Entertainment City.

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Pagcor has been in existence for nearly 30 years, and in the last five years it has progressively functioned as a gaming regulator. Upon our assumption of office in June 2010, the current board endeavored to codify existing and new regulatory practices into a structured and predictable set of rules and regulations covering a wide range of license compliance and operational aspects. We expect to launch this code of rules and regulations by the last quarter of this year. In general, the regulations aim to protect the government’s share of gaming revenues, ensure integrity in the games, prevent unlawful activities inside the casinos, disallow ineligible persons from playing, and promote responsible gaming. Specific to Entertainment City, we formulated development standards to guarantee that nongaming facilities would comprise the majority of attractions at full completion.

Motivating private sector investments that lead to jobs and government revenues on one hand and minimizing social costs typically associated with gambling on the other hand will always be a delicate balancing act. But we would like to assure everyone that Pagcor is working hand in hand with our licensed casino operators to establish a regulatory regime that addresses the dichotomy. We are receptive to best regulatory practices as are our counterparts in other jurisdictions. Indeed, our illustrious colleague in the global gaming industry, the Casino Regulatory Authority of Singapore, plans to visit Manila to “understand and learn more about Pagcor’s regulatory regimes and experiences in casino regulation.”

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Our local casino industry is anything but unregulated. But regulating this dynamic industry is a constant work in progress. Nonetheless, Pagcor is unwavering in the resolve to stay on top of the game.

—JORGE V. SARMIENTO,

president and chief operating officer,

Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.

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