The Philippines is quickly emerging as one of the hottest new gambling destinations in the world. It’s interesting, considering the country’s president claimed to “hate gambling” not too long ago. More recently, President Duterte’s stance on gambling seems to have softened.
He’s become much more lenient towards the land-based and online gambling in the Philippines. Today, we’re going to look at why this is. We’ll also be taking a look at how much revenue this industry earns for the country.
It’s no secret that the Philippines is one of the most successful new gambling destinations in the world. For the past several years, the government-run gambling authority, PAGCOR, has been pushing to hand out casino licenses.
Not long ago, a report came out that indicates that the Philippines’ casino industry is growing faster than both Macau and Las Vegas. The government is earning millions of dollars each month from this industry.
The government here has also begun to embrace the online gambling industry. Under the country’s laws, no internet gambling operators can be based within the Philippines unless given special permission by the government. Most of the online gambling sites available here—called POGOs—operate from other countries, yet they cater specifically to Filipino players. There are also a huge number of that accept players from the Philippines.
PAGCOR has recently begun allowing more POGOs to establish their operations inside the Philippines. Earlier this month, news came out that one of the licensed online gambling operators here was opening up two gambling hubs in the north and south end of the capital city, Manila.
The country’s president realizes the huge earnings associated with the gambling industry.
For a time, it was clear that Duterte was heavily against the gambling industry. He saw it as a vice and worked hard to stop PAGCOR from offering any new gambling licenses.
Increased gambling revenue seems to have changed his opinion. The Philippines now boasts one of the most successful casino gambling markets in Asia. Many of the VIP players that previously flocked to Macau are now making their way to the Philippines.
It’s clear that President Duterte’s stance on gambling is changing. This week, he told the media he wants “more online gambling and casinos.” In his fourth State of the Nation Address, Duterte praised PAGCOR for bringing in valuable revenue from the gambling industry. He specifically told Andrea Domingo, head of PAGCOR, to “push more gambling, ma’am.”
This doesn’t mean the President will stop monitoring these gambling operators. This week, Duterte officially stopped all PSCO gambling activities in the country.
President Duterte has officially called on the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office to stop its operations. He cites “massive corruption” from within the office as the reason for stopping these gambling operations.
“I have today ordered the closure, the stoppage of all gaming schemes or whatever nature however done that got the franchises to do so from the PCSO. The ground is massive corruption involving all…pati the courts who repeatedly issued injunctions to paralyze government and to allow corruption to thrive,” Duterte said.
Hours later, the Philippines National Police Chief, Oscar Albayalde, confirmed he was gearing up to close the PSCO office. This Philippines gambling group operates throughout the country, offering lottery-style games to residents.
Interestingly, Duterte has recently hinted that he’s open to allowing PAGCOR to begin offering new casino licenses. It’s likely that some of the top gambling companies in the US will be interested in entering this market.
President Duterte’s stance on gambling is certainly changing. He went from hating the industry to fully embracing it. We’ll need to wait and see what steps PAGCOR takes to make the country’s casino market even more lucrative.
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