The pandemic prompted the Philippine gambling regulator PAGCOR to accelerate the transition to legal online games operated by the country's leading casino resorts.
Philippines casino resorts are shifting to online gambling as a means of life
State-controlled Philippines Entertainment City Integrated resort operators launched online casinos as the country continues to battle the rampaging COVID-19 pandemic that has reignited the region, cutting off travel and tourism to PAGCOR's gaming and entertainment retail outlets.
In this context, PAGCOR, the national gambling regulator, has given the go-ahead for an emergency measure that allows operators to act as online casinos, initiating a trend that the government has long opposed, especially in the POGO sector.
Now, however, everything is legal, says PAGCOR's president and CEO Andrea Domingo who announced the news cited by PhilStar , local media. According to media reports, the three operators marketing iCasino products are Resorts World Manila , Okada Manila and Solaire Resort & Casino .
This is a continuation of Okada Manila's previously obtained license to operate as an online gaming entity received in April by PAGCOR, according to a report Inside Asia Gaming , the definitive publication covering the Asian gambling market.
Online gambling begins under the newly released Filipino in-house gambling operator permits that have been issued for all three sites that will be operating online gambling solutions in the future.
Introducing Online Gambling in the Philippines
The PIGO licenses resemble the model used in the United States, where Online Casinos are always linked to a retail facility that issues a "skin" to an operator that may be the same property or a third party.
PIGO will serve as a way to allow casinos to operate and generate revenue despite their temporary closure within the framework modified extended community quarantine (MECQ) security protocols in Manila and other key cities in the Philippines. PAGCOR supported the country during the COVID-19 nadir pandemic and continues to do so, but companies would have to generate gross proceeds to be able to contribute to the state treasury.
Domingo noted that PAGCOR will carefully monitor the licenses and strictly regulate them to avoid the spread of irresponsible gambling. She also called on the President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, to consider reopening the casinos partially and gradually starting a business on the casino floors.
PAGCOR properties suffered a 49th 1% drop year-on-year in Q1 2021 in terms of revenue and profit fell to $ 3.2 million by the 79th 1%.