Corruption crackdown for Pagcorp

Better checks to ensure former Pagcor execs stop using fronts to run casinos

The state owned online and land gambling organisation Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) is to beef up probity and other checks on prospective licensees following disclosures that enterprising former officials are illegally employing ‘front men’ in their ownership of satellite casinos.

Pagcor chairman Cristino Naguiat told reporters this week that his organisation has moved to implement a more rigorous audit of existing casino franchises that former Pagcor officials granted to private firms.

Naguiat had earlier put on hold all applications for new casino licenses, citing President Aquino’s decision to block the mushrooming of casinos in places not frequented by foreign tourists.

A Pagcorp spokesman said: “We will now require transparency and full disclosure of the identities and activities of the proponents. We will make sure that the people we’re dealing with are the real proponents and not just agents.”

Advising that a full investigation into past agreements was in progress, the spokesman said: “If the results of our investigation show that Pagcor was disadvantaged, then we will file necessary cases against former Pagcor officials with the Ombudsman.”

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