PAGCOR says Philippines to become more attractive gaming jurisdiction

Jenny Ortiz 1 month ago
PAGCOR says Philippines to become more attractive gaming jurisdiction

Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) Chairman and CEO Alejandro Tengco said the agency is laying out plans to make the Philippines an attractive gaming jurisdiction.

In an email interview with SiGMA, Tengco detailed what PAGCOR has in the pipeline.

“Investors can expect more structural changes towards a more comprehensive legal infrastructure which, in turn, should make the Philippines a more attractive gaming jurisdiction,” Tengco said.

“We shall also continue lowering our licence fees and modernising our systems to help realise our vision of making the Philippines the gold standard in gaming in the Asia-Pacific region,” he said.

188BET’s to move back their operations in the Philippines

Tengco’s statement comes after global online gaming company 188BET announced it is moving back its operations to the Philippines.

“The decision by 188BET to move its operations to the Philippines is a huge vote of confidence for the country as a regulatory haven, and this is precisely what PAGCOR is working hard at,” Tengco said.

Last week, 188BET said it is undergoing changes and is relocating to a new licensing jurisdiction.

In its notice to players, 188BET said the business will be operated by a new Philippine-based company, BestCommerce Corporation, which is licensed and regulated by PAGCOR.

“We would like to assure 188BET and other potential investors that PAGCOR shall continue to be fair to everybody and that there will be a level playing field with a predictable and dependable regulatory framework,” Tengco said.

Sustained industry growth

“The industry can expect sustained growth in the next five years, with at least one Integrated Resort (IR) opening every year beginning this year in Quezon City, to be followed by new IRs in Cebu, Clark, and other equally strategic locations,” Tengco said.

PAGCOR said last week that the revenue of the country’s iGaming sector nearly doubled in 2023.

According to the agency, the iGaming sector – which includes e-games, e-bingo, specialty games, and sports betting – contributed Php58.16 billion (€967.69 million) to the country’s gross gaming revenues in 2023.

The figure is 92.32 percent higher than its earnings of Php30.24 billion (€502.30 million) in 2022.

PAGCOR to become a pure regulatory entity

Another development in the pipeline is the decoupling of PAGCOR from its casino operations.

“The industry can also expect PAGCOR’s full decoupling from our casino operations within that time frame to become a purely regulatory entity dedicated to overseeing growth and attracting more investments,” he said.

The agency said the privatisation of PAGCOR’s casinos will start in the last quarter of 2025 at the earliest

Bill banning POGOs no immediate impact on gaming sector

Meanwhile, the PAGCOR Chairman also weighed in on the recent passage of measures aiming to ban Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) at the Philippines’ House of Representatives committee.

“We do not see any immediate impact from the passage of the bill in the House of Representatives banning POGOs because there is still a long way to go before it becomes a law if ever it gets passed,” Tengco said.

“We believe that investors will continue to consider the Philippines as a gaming investment haven. In the meantime, we shall sustain our operations against illegal activities while closely monitoring and protecting our legitimate licensees.”

SiGMA Eurasia and SiGMA Africa – less than a month away

With less than a month until the highly anticipated SiGMA Africa event kicks off in Cape Town, South Africa on the 11th of March, the gaming industry is abuzz with excitement. Building on the success of its inaugural edition in Nairobi, Kenya, in January 2023, SiGMA Africa is strategically positioning itself at the forefront of Africa’s burgeoning gaming landscape. With the continent’s market poised for exponential growth, driven by a rapidly evolving digital ecosystem and increasing mobile connectivity, SiGMA Group recognizes the need to foster collaboration and innovation within the industry. By bringing together leading stakeholders and visionaries in gaming, SiGMA aims to catalyse progress and propel Africa towards a new era of prosperity and opportunity. As the countdown to the event begins, anticipation mounts for what promises to be a landmark gathering of gaming enthusiasts and innovators in the vibrant city of Cape Town.

The fourth edition of SiGMA Eurasia will once again be held at the InterContinental Dubai Festival City. Held between the 25 and 27 February 2024, the summit provides invaluable opportunities for attendees to network with industry professionals, gain exposure to the latest tech and innovations in the sector, meet key decision makers, and gain insight into new markets.

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