There is no place for bad decision making and bad actions to be taken, says Andrea Domingo in keynote speech at SiGMA
In her opening keynote on the first day of SiGMA-ICE Asia digital, PAGCOR chairperson and CEO, Andrea Domingo, expressed her admiration, and appreciation of the determination, the will, and commitment of SiGMA to its goals.
“The pandemic has plagued the whole world, but SiGMA resorted to a digital summit - only a committed, dedicated and really serious agency would still do this despite the odds.” She also extended a welcome to SiGMA for 2021, when they will launch their Asia-focussed super show in Manila.
“It is very important for people like us, who are both operators and regulators, to be abreast with the latest developments in tech and in gaming, not only with the actual games but the systems for monitoring, for auditing, and for regulation - they are just as important.
“The management of information for example, the putting in of an effective player tracking system, the audits so we can know we’re collecting proper revenues and the procedures we have to follow since we are now covered by the AML law. All of this we have to study amidst the health and safety and retention of jobs and to get as much revenue as we can”
In addition to ensuring health and safety, Domingo also spoke about safeguarding the jobs of workers in the gaming industry, “we have to maintain the employment of 132 thousand direct hires of the gaming industry. This is the reason why we would like to participate in SiGMA, so we can expand our markets, so we can reach and learn from other jurisdictions what we have to do to be able to combat the after effects of COVID-19.”
Pagcor was created to legalise gaming in the Philippines - and right now it is the 3rd biggest revenue collecting body in the country.
“Are we therefore a revenue collection body?” asked Domingo. “No, the revenue we get and will get, comes from effective regulation and effective operation of gaming stations. If we do our jobs right then we know that we can collect the proper revenues - and that actually contributes to economic development. For all the revenues that PAGCOR collects - there are two sectors in our charter that say that everything should go to social civic programs and projects, nation building projects for the country.”
Contributing significantly to government coffers, 5% of PAGCOR’s GGR goes to the Bureau of Internal Revenue. From the next 95%, 50% goes directly to the national government - and from that 50% of that is given to the national treasury, which goes to implement a universal health care program, so it directly affects our health system - the next 5% is allocated to the Philippine Sports Commission.
“For the first time in the history of PAGCOR, the Office of the President actually reports to us how they spend the money we give to them. This is liquidated, fully audited, fully accounted for by relevant audit agencies. Everything is clear, everything transparent, as that is our mandate from the president. Obey the law, be transparent, be competent. There is no place for bad decision making and bad actions to be taken.”
“We see to it that there's a level playing field, that players are protected, and that government revenues are collected from proper and legal sources.
“We also take care of peace and order - although we not part of anti illegal gambling entities that are provided for in the republic’s act on illegal gambling - together with the Philippine National Police, the Department of Justice, the Bureau of Immigration, and the National Bureau of Investigation, we have formed a task force so we are able to carry out projects, and contribute any information we have received - either officially or through the grapevine.”
Domingo went on to say, that while PAGCOR have been successful in being able to arrest illegal operations, particularly amongst NOGOs, one problem the pandemic has created is that it has created a vacuum of people stuck at home with a computer, with “very enterprising illegal gaming operators praying on them and enticing them to bet from Facebook and from phones...that is what we want to destroy, to eliminate once we get to operate again.”
She closed by saying, "We will go forward and avail of SiGMA's intelligence and info, and in May 2021 we shall be there to welcome you with open arms."
You can follow the conference by clicking here.