PAGCOR Greenlights iGaming

‘PAGCOR Gives Online Gambling Greenlight To Land-Based Casinos!’ (Image Source: images.unsplash.com)

In the Philippines, the ban on online gambling is no longer in place as the PAGCOR, which regulates online gambling in the country opens the doors for online casinos. However, the rules state that at this time the only establishments permitted to run online gambling services are land-based casinos only.

The report came out via Ian C Sayson and Andreo Calonzo on Bloomberg yet there is no official news on the PAGCOR website of social media as we await the possibility of a press release. Bloomberg does state that the information came to their attention via mobile-phone messages directly from president Alfredo Lim-president of PAGCOR which is a government-owned and operating authority.

With new speculation in the air, iGaming newswires, as well as official newspapers in the South East Asian region such as the English language newspaper Bangkok Post, are reporting heavily on the situation. The news also saw stocks rise by 2% and up to 6% for several of the land-based casino organisations mentioned over the last couple of days.

The unexpected move by PAGCOR is in response to the devastation of the latest pandemic caused in the Filipino iGaming market, which mostly serves Chinese punters.

Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) are reporting heavy losses and out of 55 firms, just 33 are back in business. There are reports of entire apartment blocks currently emptying as those employed by POGOs head home or move after losing their salaries because of the lack of customers. Meanwhile, tax revenues from iGaming dropped 96% in the country.

However, there is still a big question mark over the Bloomberg report and that is ‘does this mean local residents can bet online?’…

What Does New Legislation Mean for Online Gamblers in the Region?

There could be a fresh wave of live table games offered with both English and Filipino speaking dealers, croupiers, and hosts operating from within land-based casinos. The game could attract English-speaking ex-pats across South East Asia living in countries where online gambling is illegal, allowing them to join an online casino.

Moreover, will this finally mean that locals in the country can play online casino games and make sports bets online?

It is highly likely that the land-based casinos will stream live dealer games too. These tables will mostly have English-speaking dealers, croupiers, and hosts to cater to a wide audience of offshore gamblers, yet there is also some speculation that PAGCOR may also open the doors for locals to join the online casino platforms once they are fully operational.

Land-Based Casino Allowed to Offer Online Gambling Services Listed by PAGCOR

PAGOR (The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp) made an announcement listing the land-based casinos currently allowed to offer online casino services. These casinos will pay taxes in the same way as online casino companies a.k.a. POGOs but there is still nothing concrete or confirmed as to whether the money earned to pay these taxes will also come from bets placed by Filippino residents.

Approved PAGCOR Land-Based Casinos in the Philippines:

  • Bloomberry Resorts Corp.’s
  • Solaire Resort and Casino
  • City of Dreams Manila
  • Okada Manila
Could New Rules Give VIVO Gaming a Chance to shine?

News of legalising online gambling is possible great news for VIVO Gaming because the firm already has a presence in the country after it opened its VIVO Gaming live dealer table studio fully licensed under the PAGOR regulations.

VIVO Gaming is already an established live casino operator across Europe but faces steep competition from Pragmatic Play, NetEnt, Evolution, Microgaming, Playtech, and Ezugi brands in this market. An expansion in South East Asia could be the key to growth for the firm and the chance to fund further dominance in casinos that serve the Australian, New Zealand, UK, Dutch, Canadian, and South African markets.

Currently, there is no announcement from VIVO Gaming but a similar approach to the way Evolution Gaming is penetrating the US market could be a realistic approach for the firm. Of course, this is just speculation at this time but VIVO Gaming is a prime position to offer its services to bring a new line of live casino gaming to players across the globe.

For now, many news outlets including ourselves can only speculate as to whether the new laws for a land-based casino in the Philippines to enter the online casino industry will also mean that locals can bet? If this is the case, will the market use English speaking table hosts, or a mix of English, Spanish, Chinese, and Filipino languages?

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