The government backtracked a new on its stance on gaming, withdrawing an earlier move to recover the licenses for electronic bingo games (eBingo).
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (PAGCOR) said that it would be no longer retrieve the licenses of the eBingo entities located inside the arcades, hoterls, and malls even they are near churches or schools.
Pagcor ordered the bingo operators within 200 metres away from the churches and schools to close shop. In September 24 notice to operator of eBingo AB Leisure Exponent Inc. or (ABLE), the Pagcor said entities is located inside arcades, hotels and malls will be now exempt from the distance requirement.
AB Leisure Exponent Inc. is a wholly owned branch of Leisure and Resorts World Corp or (LRWC), a gaming company found by the businessman and now Negroc Occidental Rep. Alberto Benitez.
“The agreement was based on the recommendation of Pagcor Gaming Licenses and Development Department or (GLDD) and the legal opinion of its Corporate and Legal Services Department or (CLSD) to honor the licenses of the operators whose gaming sites are located in the arcades, hotels, and malls considering the exempted from the distance requirements,” Pagcor say’s to ABLE.
Resulting of 20 eBingo have resumed to operate. Also, Pagcor said its board allowed the resumption of the eBingo operations until the expiration of the license of the sites.
The gaming regulator said it’s still under studying whether it would be permanently maintin its exemption of arcades, hotels, and malls from the distance requirements.
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp revoked the licenses of 120 non copliant eBingo sites for violating the distance restriction guidelines.
This was after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the crackdown of online gaming.
“Online casino gambling must stop, it is out of control. I want to suggest that anytime soon, licenses must be cut,” Pres.Duterte said during the first Cabinet meeting last June 30.
The Philweb Corp which operates the eGames network, it was the first to be hit by crackdown. Pagcor declined to renew the license of Phil Web, which expired on August 10.
The company majority owned by former trade minister and businessman Roberto Ongpin, whom Pres.Duterte singled out as oligarch.
President Duterte has since backtraced to his earlier pronouncements, saying that he would allow the online gaming provided the entities are located far from the churches and schools.
Phil Web is now still negotiating for the license while Roberto Ongpin decided to sell his 53.76% stake in the company.