January 25, 2023 3 min read

PAGCOR Answers Backlash and Commits to Nurturing POGO Industry

Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) has rejected calls to shut down the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) industry, stating instead that it will bolster its growth

This comes after a Senate hearing on January 23, where PAGCOR was accused of failing to take sufficient action against offending POGOs and hiring an unlicensed company to audit POGO revenues and taxes.

PAGCOR Sees POGO Industry as Beneficial to the Philippines’ Economy

In an official statement released on January 24, PAGCOR addressed these accusations and emphasized its commitment to working with other government agencies to combat illegal gaming operations, including offshore gaming.

Specifically, the agency highlighted the inter-institutional cooperation meeting held in September, where it joined forces with the Philippine National Police (PNP), National Bureau of Investigation, Department of Justice (DOJ), and Department of Interior and Local Government in this effort.

PAGCOR also pointed out that the offshore gaming industry has only been present in the Philippines for five years, and that it currently employs around 25,000 locals, while also contributing billions of pesos to the local economy through real estate, consumption, and indirect employment. The agency believes that this industry has much more to contribute to the Philippine economy.

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian criticized PAGCOR for awarding a multi-million dollar contract to a company that was not licensed to perform the job. In 2017, PAGCOR entered into a consultancy agreement with Global ComRCI, worth PHP 26 billion ($477 million), to monitor the revenues of licensed POGOs and ensure they were paying the correct amount of taxes.

However, it was later discovered that Global ComRCI was not registered in the Philippines and had not provided accurate documentation in its proposal.

This has raised numerous concerns and has led to calls for an investigation into PAGCOR’s contract allocation process, as well as for stricter regulations to ensure proper due diligence is carried out when awarding such contracts.

PAGCOR Is Reviewing the Global ComRCI Contract

In response to accusations surrounding the company hired to audit POGOs, Global ComRCI, PAGCOR noted that the service provider went through a proper bidding process and met all legal requirements under the Procurement law.

However, with the assumption of new leadership in August, PAGCOR is currently reviewing the contract and the company’s performance. The agency assured the senators that the review will soon be finished and released at the proper time.

PAGCOR also emphasized that it will come down hard on POGOs that break the law and that an investigation into a company allegedly involved in a kidnapping case last year is ongoing. The agency reassures the public that it takes these reports seriously and will ensure that all gaming licensees abide by the law. PAGCOR will take the necessary actions, including canceling licenses and service provider accreditations if found warranted.

Author

Silvia has dabbled in all sorts of writing – from content writing for social media to movie scripts. She has a Bachelor's in Screenwriting and experience in marketing and producing documentary films. With her background as a customer support agent within the gambling industry, she brings valuable insight to the Gambling News writers’ team.

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