PAGCOR – Their Role In The Philippines Gambling Industry

PAGCOR LogoThe Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) was established in 1976 and soon after got a contract to operate a floating casino in the Manila Bay. The floating casino burned up two years later and the corporation swiftly turned their focus to land-based casinos. Eventually, PAGCOR would become the sole government agency establishing regulation of casinos in the country other than the Cagayan-Freeport area. Today they regulate and enforce Philippine gambling laws over multiple casinos, poker rooms, and sports betting service while employing more than 11,000 workers.

Creation Of PAGCOR

PAGCOR was created by the Philippine government by order of Presidential Decree 1067-A and effectively consolidated its powers through PD No. 1869. The organization is now one of the top three major contributors of revenue for the country. Officially under the Office of the President, PAGCOR has made a good name for itself by providing for the community and helping bring regulation to the casino gambling community. In 2007, PAGCOR got a 25-year extension on their regulation and licensing arrangements for the country extending their control until the year 2032.

Vision And Mission

PAGCOR currently operates its own casinos and VIP slot rooms while overseeing regulation to privately owned casinos, e-game cafés, and bingo parlors across the country. They are the only licensing agency for all the casinos and online casinos based in the Philippines except for the Cagayan-Freeport area which has its own set of regulators. Current residents are permitted to play Philippine legal online casinos that are not operating within the borders of the country. The same implies to poker games. There are multiple poker rooms located in the brick and mortar casinos locally, and some of these destinations also offer online poker sites, however, these domestically based sites are not available to Filipino players.

Residents of the country may only play via offshore poker sites that accept Philippine players because domestic casinos are not permitted to offer their online poker services to Philippine residents at this time. Since some offshore sites don’t process transactions using the Philippine Peso (PHP), online players will find multiple deposit options available across the web that are friendly to Filipinos. PAGCOR is currently in the process of selling off the casinos that they own as the government has decided that PAGCOR should be a regulatory agency and not an operator.

PAGCOR also regulates the sports betting service MegaSportsWorld (MSW). MSW has gaming stations across the country that offer in-store and telephone betting to their players. Sports betting in the Philippines is also allowed to residents via licensed offshore sites. Sports betting is big in the area and many residents claim to use the offshore services to access better odds and paylines. Philippine legal horse race betting and betting on cockfighting is also allowed and licensed by other government agencies such as PRC and governed by PHILRACOM and GAB.

PAGCOR hopes to make the Philippines a top gaming and entertainment destination in all of Asia by 2020. They intend to use their resources and revenue to create an environment that drives the gaming and entertainment industry while keeping the integrity they were founded on. They also wish to use their revenue to be a responsible partner and assist the government to build structures and develop building programs for the community.

Entertainment City - PAGCOR's Efforts To Duplicate Vegas

Entertainment City (E-City) is one of the structures that is designed to catapult the island nation to a premium gambling destination. It is PAGCOR’s newest development in Manila City and is already receiving rave reviews for their massive casino resorts. E-City is made up of 4 resort casinos: Resorts World Manila, Okada Manila, City of Dreams, and Solaire Resort & Casino. PAGCOR would only issue licensing for casinos that would agree to spend over 1 billion USD on their structures. They basically intended to build a strip of casinos and resorts in the middle of the bay area to rival what you see in Vegas.

PAGCOR is rumored to be trying to build a viewing tower like the Seattle Space Needle. If constructed, it would be one of the tallest structures in the world. E-City is already a spectacle in the Philippines and the PAGCOR tower would just add to the allure of Entertainment City.

Community - PAGCOR Makes A Difference

PAGCOR has been doing a lot more than just regulating casinos across Metro Manila and the rest of the Philippines. The government corporation also oversees many community events and helps fund many charity drives. Over the last several years, it seems like PAGCOR has had their hands in everything from disaster relief to the funding of sporting games for children. They recently made headlines when they turned old slot machine stands into armchairs for school children and when they used confiscated illegal logs to make thousands of school desks and armchairs for grade school students. They have even had their hands in building schools in conjunction with the Department of Education. As of March 2016, PAGCOR and its partners have completed construction of over 2,000 classrooms in over 400 cities across the country.

After 42 years of service, PAGCOR has truly made a positive difference in the Philippines and affected many people’s lives in a good way. It's nice to see a government agency and a President that doesn’t particularly agree with gambling, utilize the industry, create and exploit tourism to give back to the people that need it most. PAGCOR is a blessing to many people from the tourist that can legally play their casino games to the school kids who desperately need updated school materials.