PHILIPPINES IMPACT FOR LEISURE AND RESORTS
Pagcor orders shutdown of 53 e-gaming operations.
The shoot-from-the-hip online gambling policies of new Philippines national president Rodrigo Duterte impacted Leisure and Resorts World Friday as state-owned Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation ordered the company to shutter 53 of its e-gaming and electronic bingo venues.
The shutdowns were revealed when Leisure and Resorts World reported the issue as a material development to the local stock exchange, advising that its subsidiaries AB Leisure Exponent Inc. and Total Gamezone Xtreme Inc. had been warned by Pagcor to halt operations on grounds of non-compliance with distance restriction guidelines as defined in the Gaming Site Regulatory Manual.
The relevant section of the regulations stipulates that gaming venues must be at least 200 metres in distance from schools and churches.
Although Leisure and Resorts operates many more venues which have apparently not been affected by the Pagcor action, its stock exchange advisory warned that net income estimated to the end of 2016 from the banned venues will amount to the equivalent of US$ 1.19 million, whilst related assets will suffer impairment to the tune of US$4 million.
“These numbers approximate 5 percent of total consolidated 2015 revenues and net income of the LRWC Group," the advisory noted, adding that the group intends to request that Pagcor reconsider its decision as a matter of urgency.
The Leisure and Resorts World shutdown is the latest to manifest the wrath of President Duterte, who has threatened to "destroy" online gambling as a social evil; last month he all but dismembered Philweb by having Pagcor refuse to renew its licensing
Since then he has moderated his stance somewhat, indicating that as long as online operators pay the appropriate taxes and dont target Filipino punters, he will leave them alone.