Alejandro Tengco, chairman and chief executive of the Philippine gaming regulator, says the agency is set to reduce the revenue share it collects from the country’s online casinos. The move aims to make online casinos more competitive, as well as curb illegal gambling operations, according to remarks cited in the Philippine Inquirer news outlet.
Mr Tengco, head of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor), said the goal was to cut such share to between 30 percent to 32 percent by next year, from as much as 50 percent previously.
“It’s now at 42.5 percent and I’m going to bring it to 37.5 percent by March [this year],” Mr Tengco was quoted as saying, flagging that there would be further reductions in the near future.
“I just want to kill illegal gaming. [This] proliferated because Pagcor charged [the licensees] so much,” he reportedly added.
According to the media outlet, the Pagcor boss estimated that the agency was losing around PHP1 billion (US$17.8 million) a month to unlicensed online casinos. The number of unlicensed online casinos was also putting pressure on legal gambling operations, he added.
Mr Tengco said there used to be about “six closures” of online casinos per month. When Pagcor reduced its share of revenue from online casinos to 42.5 percent, the number of closures went down to “one … every two months,” he stated.
Mr Tengco said last week he expected the nation’s 2024 gross gaming revenue (GGR) – including non-casino operations – to reach PHP336.38 billion.
The Pagcor chairman said that while electronically-delivered gaming was likely to contribute PHP61.75 billion in 2024, the traditional formats via the licensed commercial-sector casinos would take the lead.
Pagcor is also preparing to launch its own online casino brand, casinofilipino.com, in the second half of this year.
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