Philippines-based PhilWeb Corp said on Monday that its current licence to operate online gambling – due to expire that day (July 11) – has been extended for a period of one month. The extension was confirmed in a letter from the country’s gaming regulator, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp, also known as Pagcor.
PhilWeb in 2003 received a licence from Pagcor – the Intellectual Property License and Management Agreement (IPLMA) – to launch a network of e-Games outlets in that country.
In the letter, dated July 8, Pagcor said: “In the exigency of the service and in order to prevent loss of revenue to the government, please be informed that the request for extension of the PhilWeb IPLMA contract due to expire on July 11, 2016 is granted and hereby extended … until August 10, 2016.”
The letter – addressed to PhilWeb’s president Dennis Valdes – was signed by Andrea Domingo, the new chairwoman of Pagcor.
The new head of Pagcor had announced last week a freeze on the issuance of new online gaming licences, according to local media reports.
The decision came after the first cabinet meeting headed by the Philippines’ new President, Rodrigo Duterte. Mr Duterte said during that meeting that he planned to stop the proliferation of online gambling in the country and revoke existing licences.
President Duterte and his team have not yet provided further details on such plans, namely which firms or types of games would be impacted by a potential ban on online gaming in the Philippines.
According to Friday’s letter, PhilWeb had requested a short-term extension of its gambling licence from Pagcor, “until [a] presentation … can be provided to the President [Mr Duterte] and his directive regarding online gaming can be clarified”.
The value of PhilWeb’s shares had dropped by 22 percent on July 1, following the announcement by President Duterte the day before. The company voluntarily suspended trading of its shares on the Philippine Stock Exchange with effect until July 8.
The company had said in late May it was seeking to raise at least PHP6 billion (US$127.5 million) to fund its expansion programme.
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Gross gaming revenue produced by the Philippine casino sector in the second quarter