PEZA is soon to ban online gambling operations at its accredited buildings all across the Philippines.
Philippines.- The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), charged with the promotion of the establishment of economic zones in the country, has reportedly announced that it won’t allow online gambling operators to work at its accredited buildings. According to local media, neither its properties at Metro Manila nor those around the rest of the Philippines will be allowed to host said operations.
Charito Plaza, PEZA Director General, said to the media that the board of directors made the decision to ban online gambling activities at their buildings, even if they’re related to technical support. Ms. Plaza has been in the position since last fall and was one of the authors of the Philippines’ Special Economic Zones Law, under which the agency had been established.
PEZA Director General explained that the amount of online gambling operations in Metro Manila is over 100 and that those are mostly based in agency’s accredited buildings. She also detailed that most of those businesses are Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport or Cagayan Economic Zone Authority locators, which, according to Plaza, have been operating there while their facilities are under development.
The decision comes right after local real estate company Leechiu Property Consultants (LPC) reported that the iGaming industry is the second biggest office space occupier in the Philippines. The report also states that it will increase its demand for space this year and will take up between 4.3 and 5.3 million square feet.
Online gambling has been on the spotlight since Rodrigo Duterte became President last summer as he intends to terminate iGaming. Duterte believes that it is a major driver of social ills and has already taken some measures to restraint online gambling in the country.
That’s why PEZA is reacting this way against operators despite their businesses are licensed by the Philippine gambling regulator, PAGCOR. Ms. Plaza has clarified that the agency doesn’t want to be involved in any iGaming-related scandals, something that can be unsderstood under current circumstances.