Philippines-based PhilWeb Corp confirmed on Wednesday that – as of that day – it would be winding down its e-Games outlet operation in that country. The company’s licence to manage its network of e-Games expires at 11.59pm on August 10.
PhilWeb in 2003 received from the country’s gaming regulator, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor), a licence – known as the Intellectual Property License and Management Agreement (IPLMA) – to operate Pagcor’s network of e-Games outlets. To date, there are 286 e-Games Pagcor-licensed outlets managed by PhilWeb, according to the company.
“The company will be winding down operations as a service provider to Pagcor’s e-Games network due to the expiration of its IPLMA contract on August 10, 2016,” said PhilWeb’s president, Dennis Valdes, in a statement filed with the Philippine Stock Exchange.
The new head of Pagcor, Andrea Domingo, had already said that the regulator was not planning to renew the licence of PhilWeb. On July 11, PhilWeb’s operating licence had reached its expiry date, but had been extended by Pagcor for a single month.
PhilWeb’s executives had met on Tuesday with Pagcor’s Ms Domingo to appeal for an extension on the grounds that their outlets did not function as online gaming websites and therefore should not be included in the government’s crackdown on online gambling.
The value of PhilWeb’s shares plunged nearly 73-percent, from PHP15.56 (US$0.33) apiece on August 1 to PHP4.25 per unit at the close of trading on Tuesday. PhilWeb has asked for an immediate suspension of trading in its shares effective from Wednesday. Trading of the shares will be suspended until August 31, said the firm.
The shutdown of PhilWeb’s e-Games network will likely cause the closure of the publicly-listed company, Mr Valdes told local media. The firm had said over the weekend that more than 5,000 employees were at risk of losing their jobs.
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