While only two e-sabong have been allowed to operate, PAGCOR hopes to collect between Php250 and Php350m per month.
The Philippines.- The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (PAGCOR) has announced that two licensed e-sabong (online cockfighting) operators have started to operate this month.
PAGCOR chairman Andrea Domingo said two operators are already online and that another four operators are pending payment of a Php75m bond to be able to start operating.
The regulator hopes to collect between Php250 and Php350m per month from the new vertical.
The Philippines faces a series of restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and most of the Pagcor-owned or regulated casinos remain closed. The country has since seen a rise in illegal online e-sabong operations.
Domingo stated: “We already caught six and have filed cases of illegal gambling, but it persists. It’s because the player, especially when they’re locked down at home, gets bored. So they look for entertainment and amusement, but they can’t go out.”
To avoid people playing illegally online, PAGCOR has allowed casinos to go online, the first being Okada Manila Resort.
PAGCOR reported that gaming revenue fell by 51.4 per cent year-on-year to PHP8.36bn (US$172.8m) in the first quarter of 2021. Domingo said the gaming regulator had asked the government to allow the reopening of casinos when current restrictions are lowered to “general community quarantine”.