The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), the body responsible for regulating gambling in the Philippines, is terminating the contract of one of its partners. As announced by the authority, it will no longer be working with Global ComRCI, a third-party POGO auditor.
Global ComRCI was responsible for probing the businesses of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) and ensuring that they are financially compliant with local taxes. However, the company recently got into trouble as it came under fire for alleged violations of the law.
According to recent findings, Global ComRCI may have used doctored documentation to earn its place beside the PAGCOR. It is known that the company used a bank certification from the New York branch of Soleil Chartered Bank when applying for the position but it turns out that this certification might have been fake.
This came to light recently as the bank reported that it has not issued such documentation to the auditor. In addition, the SBC noted that Global ComRCI doesn’t even have an account with the bank and that the letterhead it used in its certificate is not the same as the one used by the bank.
PAGCOR Will Seek a New Third-party Auditor
The recent findings forced the PAGCOR to issue the auditor with a notice to cancel the consultancy contract. Global ComRCI became PAGCOR’s auditor in 2017 when it was successfully awarded a 10-year contract. However, now that it is known that the auditor might have used false information to earn its position, the PAGCOR no longer wishes to do business with it.
The issue has been referred to the Office of the Solicitor General. The PAGCOR will also seek solutions for the restitution of over a dozen million dollars that were provided to Global ComRCI when it was named as PAGCOR’s auditor. Furthermore, the regulator will seek damages.
Global ComRCI’s contract has been under review since last fall when the possibility of its alleged fraud first came to light. Despite everything, the PAGCOR will still listen to what its soon-to-be former auditor has to say. As required by the law, Global ComRCI will be able to present its case, defend its actions and potentially clear any misunderstandings.
In the meantime, the PAGCOR will audit POGOs by itself, while searching for a new third-party auditor. The regulator promised to be stricter than before and as transparent as possible when seeking a company to replace Global ComRCI.