This just in: Bloomberg reports that Pagcor will not renew Philweb’s license. “We won’t cancel it but we won’t renew it,” Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. Chief Executive Officer Andrea Domingo told the media outlet in a phone message today. The contract expires Aug. 10, 2016, after a one month renewal earlier.
Rodrigo Duterte, the President of the Philippines, has vowed to stop gambling from taking place within the country in regards to online game play. This vow could see 5,000 jobs lost, according to PhilWeb, a gaming technology provider based in the Philippines, if the activity is banned.
The President of PhilWeb, Dennis Valdes, commented on the President’s position this weekend and how that if the publicly listed firm is shut down, the government will lose at minimum, PHP2.1 billion in royalty fees, which is equal to $44.68 million USD. PhilWeb pays this amount to the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation, also known as Pagcor.
PhilWeb operates e-gaming outlets across the country, 286 in total, and has paid Pagcor PHP14 billion, $297.9 million USD, to date. The company has also paid more than PHP280 million, $5.96 million USD, in taxes. The company currently has a temporary license which will expire by the 10th of this month. If the contact with Pagcor is not renewed or is canceled altogether, the license to operate within the country will end and operations will be shut down.
According to Valdes, all the suppliers that the firm works with, which will include medium and small businesses, will be affected. Pagcor will lose out on a daily share of revenue from e-games that will include, on average, PHP6 million, equal to $126,671 USD.
The former chairman of PhiWeb, Roberto Ongpin, resigned recently after being singled out by Duterte, with the president going after oligarchs, who he believes are embedded in the government. Valdes stated that Ongpin resigned to save the company, knowing that if he maintained his position, the outlets for e-gaming would be shut down, with more than 5,000 affected due to loss of employment.
Anna Bettina Ongpin, the daughter of Roberto, held the position of director and vice chairman of PhilWeb, and has also decided to step down based on recent controversies. Her resignation was announced last week on the same day that her father stepped down from his position.