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2017 Inside Asian Gaming Power 50: Number 47 - Andrea Domingo

Monday, 04 December 2017 20:52
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47 Andrea Domingo




• Preparing to sell Pagcor’s casinos piece by piece
• Beefing up regulatory side, taking control of offshore licensing

Andrea Domingo stunned the ASEAN Gaming Summit in March by closing her keynote speech with an attack on Philippine Vice President Leni Robredo, a leading opponent of President Rodrigo Duterte. Ms Robredo “has maligned our people,” Pagcor’s chairwoman declared.

The domestic political nuances were largely lost on visitors, but the remarks underscored that Ms Domingo, a presidential appointee, will run the government casino operator and regulator as Mr Duterte directs. That means selling Pagcor’s 46 gaming establishments, restricting online gaming parlors and taking control of offshore casino licensing from free economic zones.

Casino privatization will start next year, according to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, with Pagcor’s Casino Filipino branded venues first up. It’s happening as the Philippine gaming market booms, doubling since 2012 to US$3 billion last year, according to Pagcor, as its Entertainment City licensees create a cluster of private integrated resorts. Pagcor gaming operations contributed about one-third of 2016 casino revenue. Morgan Stanley forecasts casino revenue growing to US$3.3 billion this year, though Pagcor’s take and market share will retreat.

Converting Pagcor to a pure regulator will diminish its patronage clout but help the Philippines progress as a gaming destination. For her president and nation, Ms Domingo is executing that tough choice.

To return to the full list of 2017 Asian Gaming Power 50 winners, click here.

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