The Chairman of Philippines gaming regulator PAGCOR, Andrea Domingo, says she doesn’t want the nation’s growing Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) industry to benefit from the recent decision by Cambodia to shut down its own online gaming operations.
At the press conference promoting G2E Asia @ the Philippines in Manila on Tuesday, 8 October 2019, Domingo said she didn’t want the cessation of Cambodian online gaming licenses to see operators simply move their business operations to the Philippines instead.
“As a courtesy and respect for the Chinese government closing down online gaming in Cambodia, we said we will not accept any more applications for online gaming because we think we have to do that,” Domingo said.
“We do not want to be the basin for the fallout in Cambodia. We want to stand on our own to aspire to clean and fair play.
“We will not benefit from having more operators. The operators might benefit from it in terms of having more players but we are not sure of that. We have not seen a big spike in GGR.”
Meanwhile, Domingo revealed that PAGCOR is nearing completion of its review into the Philippines’ POGO industry after announcing in August that it had placed a freeze on issuing new licenses until at least the end of the year.
In response to questions on the review’s progress, Domingo said the regulator was finishing a study into how it can best catch illegal Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) firms in the POGO space, noting there are in some cases “BPOs attached to BPOs.”
Domingo said the National Bureau of Investigation and Philippine National Police had so far shut down close to 200 small, illegal POGO operations.
Domingo also revealed that the proposed development of two self-contained POGO hubs within which Chinese workers would both live and work were specifically designed to assist in their day-to-day lives, with PAGCOR set to provide workers with language and other courses.