Online gaming down in Philippines

Gross online gaming revenues in the Philippines fell during the third quarter of 2016.

Philippines.- Numbers released by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) show that gross gaming revenues fell from US$29.5 million in 2015 to US$14.5 million in 2016. The license suspension of PhilWeb, one of Philippines biggest operators, is one of the main reasons why the revenues suffered a decline.

The national company lost their license right last August, when Pagcor assured they would not renew the permission to PhilWeb. Both Pagcor and PhilWeb have set several meetings to renegotiate the license to operate the exclusive 268 cafes with online casino services. Andrea Domingo, Pagcor’s chief executive officer, said that PhilWeb will now go under a competitive bidding process to obtain a license as an online gaming provider. “The selection of the service provider for Pagcor’s online gaming operations will be in accordance with Republic Act 9184, preferably through public bidding,” he said.

Online gaming in the Philippines attracts a lot of foreign tourists, and it is estimated that the country gets approximately US$215 million in annual revenues. Rodrigo Duterte, President of the Philippines, had announced in the last few days of December his decision of closing all forms on online gambling in the country. Later that month, he backtracked and said: “I was mad because even the youth are gambling and there was no way of collecting the proper taxes. Pay the correct taxes. Gamble until you die. I do not really care.”

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