Corona crisis restarts talk of PAGCOR casino sale


The Covid-19 crisis has rekindled debate over the potential privatisation of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (PAGCOR) casinos to raise funds to fight the pandemic. The regulator has so far resisted calls to sell off the properties, arguing that they are profit making and already generating funds for the government. However, concern has been raised on multiple occasions about PAGCOR’s dual role as regulator and casino operator. The latest call for a sell off came from Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, who has asked economic managers to review state assets that may be sold off immediately to generate funds. Among those mentioned were PAGCOR’s casinos and the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO). According to Jade Entertainment CEO Joe Pisano, any such sale would likely attract considerable interest amongst both local and international investors.  “As PAGCOR operates under a congressional franchise, I expect that the sale of assets would require congressional approval,” he...

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