PAGCOR won’t renew PhilWeb’s license

PAGCOR announced it won’t renew its intellectual property license agreement (IPLA) with the listed gaming technology provider.

The Philippines.- The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) confirmed it won’t renew its intellectual property license agreement (IPLA) with PhilWeb. The gaming technology provider will have to stop operating as early as August 10.

“We won’t cancel it but we won’t renew it,” said Andrea D. Domingo Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Domingo’s statement aligns with the direct order given by President Rodrigo R. Duterte to revoke the licenses of online gambling operators during the first Cabinet meeting on June 30.

Since the announcement, PhilWeb’s shares have shed 70 percent of their price. PhilWeb said in a statement it has written to the PAGCOR official on Monday to request for a meeting in order to clarify the company’s situation.

In addition, President Duterte made remarks against PhilWeb Chairman and former Trade Minister Roberto V. Ongpin. The businessman resigned from the company after Duterte vowed to “destroy” him and other “oligarchs.”

Summit Securities, Inc. President Harry G. Liu commented that such pronouncements from the government “set the tone for panic” among the investing public. “If they close down, what will happen? If they fall under [online] gaming and President says he does not want this kind of operation, then you are already against the wall. It’s either you close down or shift to other businesses,” said Liu.

In its statement, PhilWeb said it is considering the possibility of closing down the business that employs more than 5,000 and receives investments from 1,500 stockholders if the government stops renewing its license.