Former enemies, now partners, bag PCSO deal

Date posted: 
Tuesday, August 31, 2021
Author Name: 
Daxim L. Lucas

It was an unlikely alliance between two firms that were constantly at each other’s throats not so long ago, but it looks like the partnership between Pacific Online Systems Corp. and the Philippine Gaming Management Corp. (PGMC) is about to become a win-win situation.

Biz Buzz learned that the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) has decided to award the P6.15-billion National Online Lottery System contract to the joint venture firm created by these two firms earlier this year to bid for the lucrative contract.

The National Online Lottery System—sometimes called the Philippine Lottery System—is basically the next generation development of the current lotto system, and became controversial after it was revealed that a Chinese-led consortium called Genlot was initially disqualified from the bidding for being ineligible, included again, disqualified again, included again, and finally disqualified again.

During this time, the special bids and awards committee members of the PCSO even tendered their resignation in protest of some moves by unnamed parties to have the firm reinstated in the lineup.

In any case, after months of moves and countermoves, it appears that the contract is finally going to the two parties that have been operating the country’s lotto system for years now.

Pacific Online—run by businessman and former stockbroker Willy Ocier—has extensive experience in IT, gaming and lotto operations, having served as PCSO’s operator for lotto in the Visayas and Mindanao areas.

PGMC on the other hand, in partnership with Malaysia’s Berjaya Group, runs the lotto operations for PCSO for Luzon.

The two firms have been fighting over turf these past few years, but they apparently decided that it is in their best interest to work together on this latest deal in order to protect the Philippine lotto market from encroachment from outsiders.

Well, if the partnership works, it will also be good for PCSO, which will reap the benefit of greater revenues from a more efficient and unified lotto operation … making the “win-win” partnership into a “win-win-win” arrangement.