In the Philippines, online games developer PhilWeb Corporation will reportedly soon be given permission to re-open 131 e-Games-branded gaming parlors across the nation following a re-think by the Philippine Amusement And Gaming Corporation regulator and the administration of firebrand president Rodrigo Duterte.
According to a report from CalvinAyre.com citing “reliable sources in the Philippine gambling industry”, the change of heart is primarily due to the size of remittances PhilWeb Corporation contributes to central government coffers.
The Manila Times newspaper earlier revealed that the Philippine Amusement And Gaming Corporation had collected 40.2% of the cafes’ total gaming revenues with 28% earmarked for operators while only 29% went to PhilWeb Corporation as a further 2% was set aside for marketers.
Prior to the expiry of its licenses in August, PhilWeb Corporation had supplied gambling terminal software to 286 e-Games cafes, which offer a range slot, video poker and other digital casino games. The terminations were part of Duterte’s “war against online gambling” and put the livelihoods of an estimated 5,000 people at risk.
However, the 71-year-old president has now reportedly directed the Philippine Amusement And Gaming Corporation to reinstate some of the previously expired licenses so long as the venues are not near churches and schools and their patrons can afford to play.
Last week saw Gregorio Ma Araneta III, Chairman for PhilWeb Corporation, announce that the company was hoping to begin re-opening at least some of the closed e-Games parlors before the end of the year with the process of obtaining new licenses “already in progress”.
“Yes [we will immediately re-operate] because these operators, they’re losing money,” Araneta reportedly told The Manila Times. “About 5,000 people are expecting this. I told [the Philippine Amusement And Gaming Corporation] that I’m not the one who’s hurting. The business is there, the longer you keep us closed, the harder it would be for the operators [and] there will be lesser revenues.”