PAGCOR Casino Privatization Sale Likely to Begin During Q3, 2025
- PAGCOR casinos will sell with a starting price of PHP60 billion, lower than the initially announced price of PHP80 billion
- The bidding process will likely begin in the third quarter of 2025
- PAGCOR boss Alejandro Tengco reiterates that the agency should only be a regulator
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) has announced that it will sell its self-run casinos at a starting price of PHP60 billion (US$1.06 billion), with the sell-off process likely to begin in 2025.
PAGCOR Chair Alejandro Tengco talked about the plan during the agency’s 2024 budget hearing with the House Committee on Appropriations on August 14.
Starting Price Set at PHP60 Billion
The latest price is lower than what was indicated in March when Tengco first announced plans to privatize the state-run casinos by the end of his term in 2028. The PAGCOR boss initially set an asking price of PHP80 billion for the 45 properties operating throughout the Philippines under the Casino Filipino brand.
Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos already gave the green light to the proposal and PAGCOR is expected to open the bidding process in the third quarter of 2025, according to Tengco. The PHP60 billion price is a “minimum” estimate and it will likely rise as the agency expects multiple entities to take part in the bidding. The PAGCOR chief also confirmed that they’re already doing some study on the process.
The Department of Finance and House Rep. Joey Salceda previously gave their estimates regarding the price of the PAGCOR-operated chain of casinos, with the figure going as high as PHP250 billion. But Tengco clarified that projection took into account a number of real estate valuations associated with the agency.
Tengco previously stated that some parties had already expressed interest in the privatization, though he did not name names.
While the privatization plan has gained widespread support from government officials, not everyone is sold on the idea, including House Rep. Rufus Rodriguez. The Cagayan De Oro City 2nd District representative will reportedly attempt to block the plan through a resolution. Rodriguez thinks it is not wise to sell the properties at this time as their revenue will likely increase as the Philippine casino industry continues to grow.
PAGCOR Aiming to Focus on its Regulatory Duties
During this week’s budget hearing at the House of Representatives, Tengco reiterated that the main goal of privatizing the state-run casinos is to allow PAGCOR to focus on its role as a gaming regulator. The agency is currently the only gaming authority in the world that also operates casinos. Tengco said such a setup is “inappropriate and unethical”.