Asia Bulletin: Tabcorp fined AU$1m and investigations begin at PAGCOR

Updated:2024-03-25 14:42    Views:166

Australian companies have seen their fair share of fines as of late, such as Crown Resorts being ordered to pay AU$450m (US$300m)...

And now Tabcorp has been fined AU$1m. Meanwhile, in the Philippines, PAGCOR is being investigated with regards to an alleged illegal release of a ₱75m (US$1.3m) bond owed to an e-sabong operator.

Down Under, Tabcorp has been fined AU$1m for not complying with The Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission’s (VGCCC) directions, issued during its investigation of Tabcorp’s major system outage in the 2020 Spring Racing Carnival.

This fine is the largest ever imposed on Tabcorp by the VGCCC. Tabcorp was issued such a large fine for failing to provide the Commission with information regarding the 36-hour shortage on its wagering and betting system; and also for failing to comply with the VGCC’s directions regarding the outage.

Commission Chair Fran Thorn said Tabcorp’s conduct was unacceptable. “We will not tolerate licensees that are not forthcoming and cooperative when the commission investigates.  

“All entities we regulate — no matter how big or small — have an obligation to be open and honest with the commission and responsive to its lawfully issued directions. We will not tolerate attempts to frustrate our investigations.” 

However, in the Philippines, the CEO & Chairman of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), Alejandro Tengco, and nine others have been charged in relation to the alleged illegal release and unexplained disappearance of ₱75m in a cash performance bond posted by an e-sabong firm called Kamura.

Among those charged with malversation of public funds,Online Casino Games for Real Money qualified theft and falsification of private and commercial documents were PAGCOR Chairman Alejandro Tengco, his Chief of Staff Dianne Erica Jogno, former PAGCOR Chief Andrea Domingo and former Board members Gabriel Claudio, Carmen Pedrosa, Reynaldo Concordia and James Patrick Bondoc.

Tengco and Jogno were also charged with complaints of obstruction of justice for “their deliberate concealment of the crimes and unjustified refusal to respond to the letters of the complainant within the period prescribed (by the law),” the complaint read.

The crime of malversation of public funds amounting to ₱75m is non-bailable and punishable by life in prison, as well as perpetual disqualification from holding public office.

Tengco said he welcomes the filing of charges against him and previous members of PAGCOR, describing it as an opportunity to “find out the truth and determine accountability within the agency.”