After the government announced plans earlier this month that could see it revoke up to 626 further online gaming licenses, Philippines online games developer PhilWeb Corporation has revealed that it has begun winding up its operations.
According to a report from the Manila Bulletin newspaper, the move followed a decision by the Philippine Amusement And Gaming Corporation regulator on Tuesday not to renew the firm’s license renewal request.
“The PhilWeb Corporation contract will expire August 10, 2016,” Andrea Domingo, Chairperson for the Philippine Amusement And Gaming Corporation, told the newspaper. “The Philippine Amusement And Gaming Corporation will not renew [or] extend the contract.”
PhilWeb Corporation revealed that its President, Dennis Valdes, had met with Domingo in an unsuccessful attempt to get the listed firm’s license renewed while the eventual decision saw the Philippine company’s shares nosedive by 41% to their lowest value since March of 2009.
“PhilWeb Corporation informed the Philippines Amusement And Gaming Corporation that it is doing its winding-up operations,” Domingo told the newspaper.
Valdes had earlier explained that PhilWeb Corporation works merely as a software provider to the Philippine Amusement And Gaming Corporation for the state-run firm’s network of e-Games outlets. He declared that each shop is consequently owned by individual entrepreneurs who receive their license direct from the regulator.
“We are not online gaming,” read a statement from Valdes. “Our software cannot be played from homes or offices.”
Valdes stated that each e-Games outlet pays tax as does PhilWeb Corporation itself with the network contributing over $45 million to the state last year and in excess of $300 million since launching some 14 years ago.
PhilWeb Corporation’s failure to get its license renewed follows last week’s resignation of its Chairman, Robert Ongpin, after recently-elected President Rodrigo Duterte, who has suggested that the nation could soon completely outlaw all forms of online gambling, referred to him as an oligarch.
“The main reason Ongpin resigned from PhilWeb Corporation was to save the company,” read the statement from Valdez. “He recognized that if he stayed on, PhilWeb Corporation’s e-Games outlets could be shut down.”