The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. on Wednesday unveiled a plan to upgrade its nationwide slot machine system (SMS) by integrating all its units in various casinos around the country in a single network.
In a statement, the gaming regulator and operator said the move was meant to keep Pagcor’s casino operations in line with international best practices.
Pagcor said the new system, costing P516 million, would put an end to its cumbersome manual system of validating, documenting and paying slot machine winnings.
“The SMS procured by Pagcor will connect 5,083 machines installed in 18 different casinos and arcades nationwide,” it said. The statement was made in reaction to allegations by a party-list lawmaker of anomalies in Pagcor’s procurement of paper for slot machine tickets under this system.
Pagcor is the last casino operator in the world that uses a manual system in verifying, documenting and paying slot machine winnings.
All of Pagcor’s licensees—including the newly opened Solaire Resort and Casino—already have a slot machine system installed.
In the US, about 90 percent of the casinos use the Ticket In, Ticket Out (Tito)-based redemption system. All the casinos of Macau and Singapore also use this system.
“Since these world-class casinos use the Tito-based system for their slots operations, it is incorrect to say that this is already obsolete,” Pagcor said, referring to the accusation of Agham partylist Rep. Angelo Palmones that the gaming agency’s move—which he said would cost P1.8 billion—was disadvantageous to the government.
“The system has several enhanced functions and the Tito component is only a small part of it,” Pagcor said. “Included in its other functions are audit, internal controls, financial accounting and monitoring, patron management and marketing modules.”
The SMS is meant to minimize errors, generate reliable player information on a real time basis, provide greater operational efficiency and enhance the gaming experience of customers.