Philippines gaming regulator PAGCOR hopes to privatize all 45 casinos under its operation by the third quarter of 2025, with a combined asking price of at least Php60 billion (US$1.05 billion), the agency has revealed.
Chairman and CEO Alejandro Tengco provided an update on PAGCOR’s privatization efforts during a House committee hearing on Monday, where he poured cold water on Department of Finance estimates that the sale of PAGCOR casinos could fetch as much as Php250 billion (US$4.40 billion).
This, he said, had mistakenly factored in the cost of the properties in which PAGCOR’s casinos are housed when most locations are actually rented.
“That will not happen because PAGCOR is not selling any property,” Tengco said, as reported by CNN Philippines. “So we’re looking at about Php60 billion to Php80 billion (US$1.05 billion to US$1.41 billion).”
Tengco is, however, hopeful that the cost may rise as bidding between interested parties gets underway and given planned upgrades to Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport aimed at easing congestion.
He also revealed an ambitious timeline of completing the sale of PAGCOR’s 45 casinos by 3Q25.
“Definitely, my trust is to privatize the 45 casinos of PAGCOR and I’m looking at 2025 as my timeline,” he said. “My goal is to increase the value of what we will privatize. This will keep going, it can’t be stopped.”
Tengco first cited the privatization of PAGCOR’s casinos during his term as an appealing option back in September 2022, just nine days after being sworn into office, describing it as the best option to avoid any conflicts of interest in its current role as both regulator and operator.