PAGCOR to implement new technical standards for EGMs in 2024

Posted: Mar 21, 2023 12:30 Category: Asia, Casino, Regulatory, Posted by Matthew Calleja

Philippine gaming regulator PAGCOR has announced that it will be implementing new Technical Standards for electronic gaming machines (EGMs) starting from January 1st, 2024. To allow the industry sufficient time to adjust, PAGCOR has specified that any machines installed prior to this date will not be obligated to comply with the updated standards.

Implementing New Technical Standards in the name of fairness and integrity

On Monday, PAGCOR announced the upcoming release of their new Technical Standards for EGMs v.1.1, which will take effect on January 1st, 2024. The regulator emphasized that the delay in implementation was to provide sufficient time for suppliers and casino operators to make the necessary adjustments in the installation of EGMs on their gaming floors.

PAGCOR will enforce new Technical Standards for EGMs beginning January 1, 2024, while exempting machines installed before the said date
Machines installed before Jan 1, 2024 will be exempted.

PAGCOR’s updated Technical Standards for EGMs v.1.1 mark the first revision to the group’s EGM standards in almost a decade. The changes were prompted by the evolution of technology and the heightened regulatory requirements for gaming machines.

In addition, PAGCOR cited Macau’s recent move to adopt its own 2.0 EGM standards in 2021, which will fully take effect in 2026 within the Suspicious Activity Report (SAR), as a contributing factor to the update.

At the presentation led by PAGCOR’s General Manager, Daniel C. Cecilio, the team acknowledged that the changes would be challenging and could significantly decrease the number of games available in the market. Certain machines, rendered obsolete and unable to be upgraded, would have to be decommissioned.

However, PAGCOR reiterated that the primary goal is to promote fairness and integrity in gaming. The implementation of the updated technical standards would ensure that EGMs are designed, manufactured, and operated in an impartial and honest manner, without any bias or manipulation. Ultimately, this will enhance player confidence and trust in the gaming industry.

The updated regulation standard aims to enhance the accuracy and reliability of EGMs. Technical standards mandate that EGMs operate with a high degree of precision and consistency, ensuring that players receive accurate pay-outs and that the machines perform as intended. In addition, the primary objective is to safeguard the players’ interests.

PAGCOR has committed to striking a balance by updating the technical standards while keeping the majority of the EGMs installed in the Philippines. This ensures that the changes will be implemented with minimal disruption to the industry and the players.

Who are PAGCOR?

PAGCOR is a government-owned and controlled corporation that operates under the Office of the President of the Republic of the Philippines.

It was established during the Martial Law period in response to the increasing number of illegal casino operations across the country. Then-President Ferdinand Marcos issued Presidential Decree (PD1067-A) to create PAGCOR, and the law was later consolidated and amended under PD 1869, also known as the PAGCOR Charter.

PAGCOR’s regulatory efforts, coupled with strong government support, have been instrumental in building a solid foundation for the gaming industry to thrive in the region’s economic ecosystem.

Recently, in August 2022, businessman and close ally of the Philippine President, Alejandro H. Tengco, was sworn in as the new chairperson of PAGCOR, replacing Andrea Domingo. As PAGCOR treads a delicate balance between being an operator and regulator, Tengco faces tough decisions. As the industry evolves, Tengco’s leadership will be crucial in navigating the challenges ahead while ensuring that PAGCOR continues to promote fairness, integrity, and player protection.

Catch this year’s SiGMA Asia Summit in Manila from 19-22 July!

SiGMA Group is gearing up to expand its horizons by bringing its B2B and B2C brands to Manila this July, along with a host of land-based exhibitors. This move is aimed at bringing SiGMA’s extensive network in the West closer to Asian suppliers, operators, and affiliates. As the industry continues to evolve, events like these will play a crucial role in shaping the future of gaming.

The event, which has received endorsement from PAGCOR, will be held at SMX, Manila’s largest expo centre. Join the discussion and enjoy every benefit of the action by getting your tickets and reading more on our website.

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