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PAGCOR Could Introduce iCasino in the Philippines This Year

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In a potential step forward for the online gambling industry, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) is set to unveil its own online casino brand. The launch is slated for the second half of this year, coinciding with the continued rising popularity of online gaming.

Global Gaming Sentiment Shift Continues

This strategic decision comes as the Philippine gaming industry is experiencing a shift from traditional land-based casinos to online platforms. Alejandro Tengco, the chairman and CEO of PAGCOR, has expressed enthusiasm about the move, stating that it aligns with the growing trend of iGaming, which is expected to contribute PHP61.75 billion (US$1.10 billion) to the country's gaming revenues this year.

The proposed online casino brand shares the name of the publicly-owned Casino Filipino chain of land-based casinos that PAGCOR plans to divest to private investors. The move is aimed at expanding PAGCOR's reach beyond physical casinos and establishing a strong presence in the lucrative online market.

PAGCOR currently regulates and licenses both private-sector land-based casinos and Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs), which cater to overseas clients. The launch of the iGaming platform, casinofilipino.com, would further solidify its position as a dominant force in the Philippine gaming landscape.

However, the plan to introduce an online casino brand has not been without its critics. Some politicians in the Philippines have called for a complete ban on online gambling, citing concerns about potential addiction and other social problems. In particular, claims of widespread human trafficking and fraud have permeated the POGO segment.

Despite these concerns, PAGCOR remains committed to its online casino initiative. In November of last year, the agency announced that it was in the process of procuring a system to operate casinofilipino.com, aiming to secure a significant share of the highly profitable online market.

Significant Economic Contributions

The launch of casinofilipino.com could have a far-reaching impact on the Philippine economy and gaming industry. It is expected to generate substantial revenue for PAGCOR, which could be reinvested in social programs and infrastructure projects.

Additionally, the online casino could create thousands of jobs in the Philippines, boosting the economy and promoting employment opportunities. The brand could also attract more tourists to the country, who may also spend money on other forms of entertainment and hospitality.

However, PAGCOR faces several challenges in successfully launching its online casino brand. It must ensure that the brand complies with all applicable regulations and establishes a strong identity to differentiate itself in the competitive online gaming market.

Moreover, the company must address concerns about the potential negative social impacts of online gambling, such as addiction and crime. By carefully addressing these challenges and adhering to responsible gaming practices, PAGCOR can minimize the risks associated with online gambling while reaping the potential benefits for the Philippine economy and gaming industry.

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