PAGCOR terminates contract with POGO Auditor

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The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. has announced that it will terminate its contract with Global ComRCI to act as a third party auditor for licensed offshore gambling operations. According to the regulator, “unlawful acts” were the reason behind its decision. It stated that it had issued a notice terminating the contract following “careful investigation”.

PAGCOR has approved the matter to the Office of the Solicitor General in anticipation of legal action. It will temporarily perform auditing functions for offshore licensees in the absence of an external auditor until it can hire another third-party auditor. It promises transparent bidding.

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian had challenged PAGCOR’s hiring of Global ComRCI to be an external auditor for POGOs. This was after a New York-based Bank denied issuing the certificate that helped the company win its PHP6bn contract.

Gatchalian had asked the regulator to end the contract as soon possible. The new PAGCOR management has been reviewing all existing contracts since September last year. This includes the one with Global ComRCI.

PAGCOR intends to return more than PHP800m ($16.5m), of the partial amount that was released to Global ComRCI before the current administration assumed and claimed damages. Global ComRCI will be able to have their case heard under the principle and due process.

“PAGCOR would reiterate that it has not yet paid PHP6bn contract amount to Global ComRCI, contrary to reports,” said the regulator. PAGCOR has not paid any payments in the last four years because of the insufficient revenue.

It stated that “PAGCOR is firm about its commitment to uphold integrity of the gambling industry in the country so all revenues from regulated games will continue to support government’s nation building efforts and improve the lives of Filipinos.”

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