Philippine gaming regulator PAGCOR is going to be implementing new Technical Standards for electronic gaming machines (EGMs), effective from January 1st of 2024. In order to give time for the industry to adapt, the group notes that any machines installed before the date will not be required to abide by the new standards.

PAGCOR made the announcement at an event on Monday, noting that the new format – Technical Standards for EGMs v.1.1 – will be applied only on January 1st of next year to “give suppliers and casino operators enough time to make the necessary adjustments in installing EGMs on the gaming floor”.

The update comes after nearly 10 years since the group’s last change to EGM standards, with the changes being made “in response to the development of technology and the increased regulatory requirements for gaming machines”.

PAGCOR also notes that the change follows Macau’s push to implement its 2.0 EGM standards in 2021 – which only fully come into effect in 2026 in the SAR.

During the presentation, a team headed by Daniel C. Cecilio, General Manager of PAGCOR, noted that the change will be difficult and “will substantially reduce the number of games being offered to the market because some of the machines cannot be upgraded due to obsolescence and the only choice is to decommission it”.

The regulatory group emphasized that the objective is to promote fairness and integrity, as “the technical standards help ensure that EGMs are designed, manufactured, and implemented in a fair and honest manner, without any bias or manipulation. This promotes player confidence and trust in the gaming industry”. 

At the same time, the update of the regulation standard is to ensure accuracy and reliability. Technical standards require EGMs to operate with a high degree of accuracy and reliability, ensuring that players receive the correct payouts and that the machines perform as intended. The next objective is to protect the players.

PAGCOR has pledged to balance the issue by updating the technical standards while retaining the majority of the EGMs installed in the Philippines.