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Philippines Identifies Online Poker as Potential Source of Growth

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The Philippines is working to expand its domestic online gambling industry, and the country’s regulator has focused on online poker as a potential source of significant growth.

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), responsible for overseeing the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) and gambling practices nationwide, has unveiled plans to revamp the existing rules and gaming regulations. The agency's chairman and CEO, Alejandro Tengco, has confirmed that online poker is among the new services they plan to introduce.

Plans Revealed at G2E Asia Conference

The plans were revealed during the G2E Asia Conference in Macau. The changes were reported by Asgam, a prominent regional media outlet that was present at the iGaming event.

In his vision for the future of gambling in the Philippines, Tengco shared plans to enhance slot machine standards and tap into opportunities in sports betting, eBilliards, eCasino, and eBingo games. This announcement comes amidst continuous criticism of the current state of the POGO sector by local lawmakers and international politicians.

Despite the criticisms, PAGCOR and Tengco appear to be pushing through their plans, and online gaming and poker are expected to undergo significant changes. This follows a number of successful projects; for instance, the recent updates to the regulatory manual for POGOs.

POGOs Considered Integral to the Future of Gambling

PAGCOR aims to consolidate its control over the POGO sector, ensuring strict adherence to regulations and taking stern actions against instances of non-compliance. POGOs have faced serious backlash due to allegations of involvement in human trafficking, tax evasion, and operating without appropriate licenses.

China has been putting a great deal of pressure on the Philippines to clamp down on the POGO sector. However, Tengco remains determined to expand the sector, introduce online poker, and diversify into other iGaming sectors.

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