The Philippines’ land-based eGames electronic gaming sector could soon be adding live dealer casino games to their product offering.
Last month, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) issued a memorandum covering the accreditation of data/content streaming providers for live dealer casino games. The memo, dated March 13, was only posted to the PAGCOR site on Monday.
The memo indicates that PAGCOR’s board of directors approved plans at its January 31 meeting for allowing eGames operators to offer live dealer casino games. The memo sets out the process by which technology providers can have their live dealer studio/production facility approved to operate within the eGames environment.
The Philippines is the primary licensing hub for Asian-facing online gambling operators under its Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO) program. However, POGO licensees are strictly prohibited from accepting action from Philippine residents.
Philippine residents are permitted to patronize the hundreds of eGames cafés that dot the archipelago. These sites contain computer terminals offering a variety of online casino and bingo products, but these ‘online’ games have historically been limited to the random number generator variety.
PAGCOR’s website now contains a variety of rules and fee schedules for would-be ‘Data/Content Streaming Providers’. These Data/Content ops will need to partner with an Electronic Gaming System (EGS) Service Provider, the entity that oversees gaming activity at eGames venues, which are in turn controlled by a Gaming Site Operator.
Among the tests that Data/Content ops will need to pass is ensuring that their live dealer games cannot be accessed by Philippine residents from outside the eGames venues. Their live dealer facilities also cannot simultaneously offer services to POGO licensees. Table layouts and studio backdrops will need to feature the logo of the EGS Service Provider so that it’s visible on the eGames terminal screens.
The addition of any new product elements will be welcome news to the eGames sector, which is only now just recovering from a sustained regulatory crackdown that did serious damage to operators such as PhilWeb. In PAGCOR’s recent snapshot of the overall Philippine gambling market in 2017, the eGames sector reported revenue of P23.6b (US$454m).