The SiGMA iGathering took place in the Metro Manila district at Studio 300
The Manila iGaming community was out in full force last night for the much-awaited return of SiGMA’s iGathering, a globally-held networking event renowned for bringing the best people together in the best locations.
Held at Studio 300 in the Metro Manila district, the mood was jubilant as delegates dressed to impress mingled with friends and colleagues over drinks and a few friendly-competitive games of pool and bowling.
The iGaming community in Manila has been eager for an event of this calibre after enduring a 2 year quiet period – during which the country saw a lull in live events following a series of shut downs and restrictions that resulted from the 2020 health crisis.
The Philippines has long been touted as a hub for gaming in Asia, with KMiGaming CEO Keith McDonnell speaking during SiGMA’s Focus Asia virtual conference in 2020 about its scope for growth, saying that, “The Philippines has a lot going for it and I would actually argue that there is no bigger global hub for iGaming. I don’t know anywhere bigger in the world of iGaming than Manila right now.”
Although much has changed across Asia’s gaming landscape in the past two years, the industry is eager to move forward and reignite the region’s spark for potential. With travel borders continuing to reopen, and vaccination rates at an all time high, there can be no doubt that Manila’s event industry is back for business.
PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Andrea Domingo has said recently that the health and safety of gaming personnel and patrons are among the management’s paramount concerns.
“We want our customers to feel safe and comfortable when they visit our establishments that is why we aimed for a hundred percent vaccination rate among our personnel to thwart incidences of infection among employees and guests,” Domingo said.
Gaming venues have also developed and deployed a system to facilitate physical distancing in slot machines, activating slots for play when a membership card is inserted in the machine; implemented cash-to-chips transactions only at the cage and regular cleaning of air-conditioning units.
The Department of Tourism (DOT) has expressed plans for the Philippines to fully reopen its doors to more tourists by April of this year – currently only fully vaccinated foreign leisure travellers from visa-free countries are allowed in.
“Right now, (the Philippines is) only for 157 visa-free countries but we are hoping that by April, we will be open to all foreigners,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said in an ANC interview.
From February 10 to March 8, the DOT has recorded a total of 73,178 tourists, mostly from South Korea, the United States, Canada, Australia, Germany, Vietnam, and Japan, figures the Tourism Secretary said they ‘were pleasantly surprised by.’
Asia Awards 2022:
The Asia Awards will be held during the first edition of SiGMA Asia. Alongside premier networking opportunities, the gala event brings together luminaries in the industry for an evening of recognition and celebration of achievement, attracting a guest list of over 300 esteemed individuals to its inaugural debut. Give recognition where it’s due by nominating someone whose work has created a positive impact on the industry. You can join us and witness the most intriguing and creative projects changing the face of the sphere. Book a seat at the Asia Awards by sending your request here.