Philippine-based gaming technology provider PhilWeb Corp.’s eGame cafés will soon become operational again before the year ends as the Philippine president tries to rectify his mistake for singling out the gambling firm in the government’s “war against online gambling.”
Reliable sources in the Philippine gambling industry told CalvinAyre.com that state regulator Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) will issue a new license to PhilWeb for its 131 eGame cafés nationwide.
It would be recalled that PhilWeb has winded up its Philippine operations in August after the local regulator confirmed that the company’s operating license wouldn’t be renewed.
Prior to the expiration of its license, PhilWeb had a services contract to supply gambling terminal software to 286 PAGCOR-licensed eGames cafes, which offer a variety of slots, video poker and other digital casino gaming options.
The non-renewal of PhilWeb’s license has put the livelihood of 700 employees and the 5,000 others who are employed by PAGCOR’s operators in its network of 286 e-Games sites.
Duterte singled out then PhilWeb chairman Roberto Ongpin as “an oligarch that must be destroyed.”
So what made Duterte change his mind about PhilWeb’s operations?
Industry sources, who refused to be named, pointed out that Duterte’s decision to thumb down the license of PhilWeb stemmed from a nasty rumor relayed to the president before he took office in July.
One of the insiders accused Ongpin’s real estate competitor at Entertainment City as the culprit behind the unfounded allegations against the former Trade Minister. Unfortunately, the allegations got through the President’s ears.
Duterte, according to the insider, also learned about the alleged harassment that Ongpin experienced under the Aquino administration, particularly from former Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima and the Development Bank of the Philippines.
Meanwhile, the third source revealed that PAGCOR made a realization that PhilWeb’s remittances to it were considerable.
To rectify his mistake, Duterte reportedly directed Domingo to have PhilWeb’s online gambling and E-Games operations reinstated. The Philippine president, however, set at least two conditions to PhilWeb: First, they must be farthest from the churches and schools, second, that their customers and clients must be restricted to those who can afford it.