DUTERTE'S LATEST OUTBURST ON INTERNET GAMING SENDS STOCKS REELING (Update)
Philippines president's order to halt online gambling has an immediate impact.
Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte's unexpected outburst against online gambling Thursday afternoon caused internet gambling stock prices on the local exchange to plunge later the same afternoon, with already embattled PhilWeb taking a further 30 percent hit, and Leisure and Resorts World Corp. down 20 percent.
Duterte's fifteen-word reference to online gaming: "I am ordering the closure of all online gaming. All of it. It has no use,” was made as he signed off on the national budget Thursday afternoon, and was widely reported.
It had immediate repercussions; PhilWeb was compelled by the falling stock price to issue a statement clarifying that it "does not engage in online gaming" and merely provides software to the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) for its network of e-Games outlets.
"PhilWeb’s software cannot be played from homes or offices. Each e-Games outlet is owned by an individual entrepreneur whose Gaming License is issued by PAGCOR directly to them. Each e-Games outlet therefore pays all taxes, as does PhilWeb itself," the company said.
PhilWeb is applying for a new license after Pagcor refused to renew its expired license, again following the intervention of the president, who was critical of its chairman at the time, Roberto Ongpin