Online Gambling for High Rollers to be Allowed in the Philippines
There is exciting news for high rollers in the Philippines after the gaming regulator announced that integrated resort casinos will be allowed to offer online gambling in order to try to recover some of the billions of dollars of lost revenue caused by the coronavirus pandemic and its associated restrictions.
The announcement means that the Philippines will become the first in the region to introduce this kind of online gambling, and it is part of a wider move designed initially to attract Filipinos to online gambling and later foreigners as well.
Restrictions brought in to help battle the coronavirus mean that casinos have been closed for months. According to Andrea Domingo, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp Chairman, online gambling may be introduced before the end of the year.
In the Asia Gaming Brief virtual forum, Domingo said, “It would be good to collect revenues and stop illegal gambling because there's a lot of illegal gambling on social media.”
The regulator has already given two operators approval to accept online betting, including Bloomberry Resorts Corp. Applications for online gambling licenses have also been submitted by integrated resort casinos such as Okada Manila and City of Dreams of Hong Kong's Melco Resorts & Entertainment.
Initially, online gambling will only be available to high rollers, who currently account for 10% to 15% of casino revenues in the country.
Data from the country’s gambling regulator shows that gross gaming revenues from the sector dropped a massive 60% to roughly $1.5 billion in the period January to September compared to the same period last year.
Recent months have seen a slight relaxation of coronavirus restrictions and casinos in the capital were allowed to open at 30% capacity in September. At present, the gaming regulator is also waiting for approval to regulate online cockfighting.