Local High Rollers to Be Permitted to Place Bets in the PhilippinesPublished December 18, 2020 by Lee R
The need for economic solutions have brought about a relent on key policy in the Philippines.
News out of Manila indicates that Philippine high rollers will soon be allowed to place bets from home.
The about-face in policy comes after the regional gaming regulator agreed to allow integrated resort IR casinos to offer iGaming in response to the ubiquitous heavy economic toll of Covid on the industry and the overall economy.
Sagging Market Performance
Gaming regulator data for the Philippines market indicates that Gross Gaming Revenues in the gaming sector fell 60% to 73 billion pesos ($1.5 billion) in January to September year-on-year.
The count in Philippines has run into the billions which need to be recovered.
Beginning of Local Trend?
The Phillippines is the first in the region to extend this concession, as part of a new round of gambling projects the country will seek to introduce to attract local as well as foreign revenues to prop the government back up after anti-virus measures kept everyone away.
High Rollers Exemption
An exclusive online program will be made available to Philippino high rollers, in a jurisdiction which formerly did not allow locals to participate in iGaming.
According to Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp PAGCOR Chairman Andrea Domingo, the iGaming for local high rollers program may begin as early as this month.
Harnessing Illegal iGaming
Domingo told Asia Gaming Brief virtual forum that the measure is a step towards channeling the preponderance of illegal online play that already takes place in the Philippines as is:
“It would be good to collect revenues and stop illegal gambling because there’s a lot of illegal gambling on social media.”
First Serving Casinos
The first two casinos in line to accept online bets are reportedly Bloomberry Resorts Corp and another unnamed casino operator north of the capital, both of whom have previously secured the regulator approval to take online bets in general.
The initial Integrated Resort IR in Manila to apply for the online gambling license include Okada Manila and City of Dreams of Hong Kong’s Melco Resorts & Entertainment.
With online gaming consultant Mark Gilbert estimating that Philippino VIPs account for around 10% to 15% of casinos’ revenues, the high roller demographic stands to contribute a healthy initial uptick to the starved coiffures of the Philippines government.