Philippines state gambling regulator PAGCOR, has allowed a month to month license renewal for online gaming operator PhilWeb. Share prices for the Realtime Gaming Asia (RTG) e-gaming station provider were down 13.68% at 3:20 PM on Monday. The company had earlier requested a suspension of trading (July 4-11).
In a statement to the Philippines stock exchange the company said that it’s license, which was expiring today, had been extended until August 10. Along with the filing was a letter from the new PAGCOR chairperson, Andrea Domingo, stating the license would only be issued for the month until President Rodrigo Duterte’s “directive regarding online gambling can be clarified.”
President Duterte announced after his first cabinet meeting on June 30 that online gambling “had to stop” along with vices such as alcohol and tobacco. Along with his reported distaste for gambling the president also noted that, “There is no way of collecting taxes there online,” according to CNN. However, the new president may have now been advised that 40% of PhilWeb’s revenues go to PAGCOR, who in turn provide money directly to the government. According their 2014 Annual Report (the last available pdf) PhilWeb had paid in over PhP2 billion to Pagcor that year (about $USD45.37 million).
PhilWeb has been licensed to provide e-Gaming in the Philippines since 2003. Last week they filed for a one week ‘Voluntary Trading Suspension’ that expired along with their license.
The other online gaming company in the Philippines, Leisure & Resorts World Corp., may not be as exposed as PhilWeb due to their position as parent company of First Cagayan Leisure & Resort Corp., the exclusive Master Licensor and Regulator for the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority. First Cagayan assists CEZA in licensing, monitoring and regulating all i-Gaming activities of gaming operators and entities located in the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport, according to the company’s website. The company also benefits from a profit stake in City of Dreams Manila.
PhilWeb reportedly has over 300 game stations located in internet cafés in the Philippines serving over 70,000 members. Most of the content available to players is also available via other online RTG casinos.