PAGCOR REACTS QUICKLY TO PRESIDENTIAL MORATORIUM ON INTERNET GAMBLING (Update)
Online gambling licensing put on hold in the Philippines… but investors show their concern.
The newly elected president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, made headlines earlier this week with a Cabinet brief on the many areas of government where he intends to crack down hard – including online gambling , and it took less than 48 hours for the effects to manifest themselves.
The newly appointed chairperson of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor), Andrea Domingo, put the brakes on any further licence issues, saying:
"For now, we will freeze the issuance of licences for these types of games, and then review what the president said."
During the tenure of Dutertes predecessor, Benigno Aquino, government statisticians claim, the number of e-bingo machines rose to 12,000 from 2,160 on his appointment mid-2010. In the same period Internet gambling terminals rose to 7,000 from 4,662, and e-gaming cafes reached 277 from 190.
Dutertes presidential outburst against online gambling, which he threatened to ban altogether, created consternation amongst investors, too; Reuters reports that on Friday shares in gaming operator PhilWeb Corp declined 32 percent to their lowest in nearly 14 months. The firm operated 277 e-games outlets and 8,977 gaming terminals catering to over 90,000 members as at March-end, the news agency noted.
And Leisure & Resorts World Corp, which develops, operates and conducts internet and gaming enterprises and facilities in the Cagayan Special Economic Zone Freeport, also felt some pain as shares 8.9 percent to a five-month low.