After becoming the latest casualty of new Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte a few weeks ago and being ordered to close 53 of its 137 bingo and electronic games parlors, operator Leisure And Resorts World Corporation has now been told that it may temporarily re-open some 20 of the previously shuttered venues.
According to a filing lodged with the Philippine Stock Exchange on Monday, Leisure And Resorts World Corporation revealed that its AB Leisure Exponent Incorporated subsidiary has been given permission to resurrect operations at electronic games venues located in malls, arcades and hotels as these are exempt from distance requirements that mandate such businesses should be at least 200 meters from any school or church.
“The approval was based on the recommendation of [the Philippine Amusement And Gaming Corporation’s] Gaming Licensing And Development Department and the legal opinion of its Corporate And Legal Services Department to honor the licenses of operators whose gaming sites are located inside malls, arcades and hotels and consider them exempted from distance requirements,” read the filing from Leisure And Resorts World Corporation.
However, Leisure And Resorts World Corporation explained that the Philippine Amusement And Gaming Corporation regulator is “still in the process of studying whether [it] will permanently maintain the exemptions of malls, arcades and hotels from the distance requirements”, which means that the sites could well be asked to close for a second time.
But, the news is not as good for under-fire online games developer PhilWeb Corporation after the Philippine Amusement And Gaming Corporation declared that it had rejected the company’s proposal to create a text-based Philippines lottery product that could be delivered via mobile telephone.
The scheme was seen as a way to help save the company after the government refused to renew its licenses last month and could have resulted in the firm generating annual revenues worth up to $2.06 billion.
“The current policy of the government is to strictly regulate and ensure non-proliferation of gambling avenues that are accessible to lower income brackets of society,” read a letter from Andrea Domingo, Chairperson for the Philippine Amusement And Gaming Corporation, sent to Dennis Valdes, President for PhilWeb Corporation.