Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) chair Andrea Domingo denies she was offered a bribe by gaming tycoon Jack Lam, though she admitted having met with him on three occasions, local media reports.
Ms. Domingo made the revelation at the third hearing on the corruption scandal involving the Bureau of Immigration (BI) at the Senate.
Jimei chairman Jack Lam has been in hot water over a corruption and bribery scandal involving his illegal gambling operations at the Fontana Leisure Parks and Casino in Clark, Pampanga, which saw over 1000 Chinese illegal workers detained.
According to the Philippine Star, the Pagcor chief said she had never met Lam’s middle-man, retired police superintendent Wenceslao “Wally” Sombero, who was the one allegedly offering bribes on behalf of Lam.
Domingo admitted to have met with Lam on three occasions in her office to speak about the operation of his Fontana Leisure Parks and Casino.
At the time, Pagcor had been negotiating with Lam to have his firm pay proper fees to the government even though he held a contract guaranteeing his firm preferential tax rates.
While other casinos operating in Clark were required to pay 10 percent of gross revenues, Lam paid only one percent of gross revenues.
“These are not his debts but foregone revenues for the government because he has a contract that is very, I would think, onerous to the government,” Domingo said.
“There is a contract but we believe it is not a level playing field so we are appealing to his fairness since he has earned a lot from the Philippines already,” she added.
Ms. Domingo said that Pagcor is looking at a potential revocation of Lam’s contract now that it has been established that he was engaged in illegal gambling operations.