The starting point expected to raise cash from the privatisation of the Philippine state casino chain is 60 billion PHP ($1.06 billion), 25% below what was mentioned when casino regulator Alejandro Tengco (file photo) announced some details of such a sale plan in March.
PHP 80 billion, as mentioned by Philippine Play and Game Company (Pagcor) Chairman Tengko in a March commentary, remains the top estimate of the casino Philippine brand’s public sector casino chain sales.
On Monday, the official addressed the price range in the House of Commons. It was during a House Appropriations Committee hearing on Pagko’s 2024 budget. Tengko even referred to mid-2025 as the starting point for the process, according to local media reports.
“The privatization of 45 properties at the earliest will take place in the third quarter of 2025,” he said.
He added that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. approved the privatization plan. Tenko cited one motivation for ending his dual role as an operator and regulator of Pagkor.
“Pagco should be purely a regulator,” Mr. Tenko said. “We are the only regulator and operator in the world.”
“We give licenses, but we also operate, so it’s inappropriate and unethical,” he added.
Pagcor explained that the sale price range reflects a “minimum estimate.”
“We expect [the amount] to increase,” he said, as quoted by local media, as privatization would be subject to a competitive “bid.”
The chain operates in more than 40 locations and leased locations from third parties, so-called “satellite-casinos.”
The Philippine Treasury had previously suggested that the sale price of Pagco’s casino Philippine venues could be between 200 billion and 250 billion, but Mr. Tenko told a House committee hearing that the estimates influenced the valuation of some of the properties that were initially attributed to Pagco.