Last week, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) unveiled plans to upgrade its nationwide slot machine system (SMS) by integrating all of its existing units in various casinos around the country in a single network. The move to introduce the new system was meant to keep its operations in line with state-of-the-art practices that are currently being conducted internationally.
But not everybody seems to be convinced that Pagcor’s newest transaction is on the up-and-up.
Agham Party List Representative Angelo Palmones urged the government agency to release documents pertaining to the multi-million deal. Palmones has been making inquiries to Pagcor but the agency kept mum. According to the congressman, it was only when he revealed the transaction to the media that Pagcor broke its silence regarding the deal, creating, at least in Palmones’ mind, suspicions that needed some answers.
The representative is questioning the decision behind Pagcor’s purchase in large part because the technology is “outdated”, arguing that the system has been in use since the early part of the century.
“This is really very disadvantageous to the environment and very disadvantageous too to Pagcor’s coffers as you are purchasing something that is no longer needed and in fact out of technology,” Palmones noted.
Pagcor, however, believes that Palmones’ assertions are incorrect because the system is currently being used by 90 percent of the casinos in the US, as well as all of the casinos in Macau and Singapore.
The whole point of the TITO-based system is to minimize errors while also generate reliable player information on a real time basis, provide greater operational efficiency and enhance the gaming experience of customers.
“Since these world-class casinos use the Tito-based system for their slots operations, it is incorrect to say that this is already obsolete,” the agency said, referring to the Palmones’ accusations.
“The system has several enhanced functions and the Tito component is only a small part of it,” Pagcor added.
In addition to connecting 5,083 machines installed in 18 different casinos and arcades all over the country, Pagcor also explained that the system also serves other functions, including “auditing, internal controls, financial accounting and monitoring, patron management and marketing modules.”