The new head of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor), Andrea Domingo, has said that the regulator will not be renewing the gaming licence of Philippines-based PhilWeb Corp.
“We won’t cancel it but we won’t renew it,” Ms Domingo told Bloomberg News on Monday. On July 11, PhilWeb had had its licence extended for a period of one month, until August 10.
PhilWeb shares plunged by 43.06 percent on Monday, closing at PHP5.13 (US$0.11) apiece, the lowest price since October 2014. PhilWeb shares have plunged more than 70 percent since the start of July, after Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said he planned to stop the proliferation of online gambling in the country.
PhilWeb in 2003 received a licence from Pagcor to launch and operate a network of e-Games outlets in the Philippines. To date, there are 286 Pagcor-licensed e-Games outlets managed by PhilWeb, according to company data.
The firm had said over the weekend that more than 5,000 employees could lose their jobs if the firm’s licence to run e-Games outlets in the country is not renewed.
The company has said it doesn’t operate online gaming websites. PhilWeb’s electronic games can’t be accessed remotely via office or home computers. Its players are required to sign up for a membership and must be physically present at Philweb e-Games cafes in order to play, it said.
“We feel that President Duterte may have been misinformed,” said PhilWeb’s president, Dennis Valdes, in a statement filed with the Philippine Stock Exchange.
On Tuesday, the firm said its executives would be meeting with Pagcor’s Ms Domingo in the afternoon of that day to clarify the regulator’s decision regarding PhilWeb’s licence.
“As a publicly listed company on the Philippine Stock Exchange, our records are fully open to public scrutiny and are available for a full investigation at any time,” said the company.
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Daniel Boone Wayson
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