New Philippine president will have to face several gaming-related issues

Ferdinand Marcos Jr has won the presidential race in the Philippines.
Ferdinand Marcos Jr has won the presidential race in the Philippines.

Newly elected president Ferdinand Marcos Jr will face a series of issues related to the gaming industry that need to be resolved in the coming months.

The Philippines.- Everything indicates that the new president of the Philippines will be Ferdinand Marcos Jr, who is reported to have exceeded the 27.5m votes needed to achieve a majority. Once he takes office, Marcos Jr will have to address several issues related to the gaming industry.

First of all, he will have to decide the future of e-sabong operations, which were finally suspended by President Rodrigo Duterte after concerns were raised by senators.

In March, 23 senators signed Resolution No. 996 calling for a suspension of e-sabong after 31 people linked to the industry disappeared. Initially, Duterte defended e-sabong. arguing that it was necessary for the economy because of a lack of funds as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. However, he finally caved in and said e-sabong was “working against our values”.

See also: PAGCOR looks for new sources of revenue in wake of e-sabong ban

The decision puts PAGCOR’s revenue expectations in doubt as the regulator’s chairman Andrea Domingo had previously said PAGCOR could raise about Php7.2bn to Php8bn if e-sabong continued to operate until the end of 2022.

The Philippines’ new president will also have to analyse the development of the Philippine Inland Gaming Operator (PIGO) system that allows operators to offer gaming services to players within the country. And finally, Marcos Jr will have to decide whether to go ahead with a project to turn the island of Boracay into a gaming destination.

Last December, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (PAGCOR) announced the opening of the Grand Imperial, a new casino venue in Barangay Taboc. However, the announcement was not well received by the local catholic church as the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro published an open letter, signed by Archbishop Jose Cabantan, against the opening.

Seven bishops and a diocesan administrator from the catholic church also issued a statement against Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte’s plan to allow gambling on Boracay. They said that allowing gambling would “destroy the treasured values, culture and life of the community.” 

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