Industry Reports

PAGCOR Greenlights PhilWeb’s e-Games License Renewal

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) gave a green light to the gaming technology provider PhilWeb. According to the latest updates, PAGCOR agreed to extend PhilWeb’s license, under which the latter is to supply gaming solutions to PAGCOR-licensed e-Games stations across the country.

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) finally agreed on extending PhilWeb’s license to supply technological solutions to PAGCOR-licensed gaming operators. PhilWeb had a long and bumpy road until it managed to receive the license approval.

In the beginning of August 2016, PhilWeb provided the software and associated facilities for the operation of the e-Games stations under question, aiming to renew its license with the country’s gambling regulator PAGCOR. At that moment it seemed that it is only a matter of time for the deal to be penned. It is also important to note that only a year earlier, in 2015 PAGCOR received a financial incentive from PhilWeb worth P2.1 billion.

Nevertheless, the extension of the PhilWeb’s license was in a serious danger as the current President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte announced his opinion on the matter, explaining that he strongly opposes online gambling. Being a government-owned and controlled corporation, PAGCOR decided to take the President’s position on the matter, denying license renewal to PhilWeb.

Hence, the already former PhilWeb Chairman Roberto V. Ongpin decided to resign his post and transfer all of his shares in the gaming technology provider to Gregorio Ma. Araneta III, who is a husband of the former President Ferdinand E. Marcos’ daughter. In that way, Mr. Ongpin decided to “sacrifice” his position in the company, aiming to save the business and relieve the current President Duterte’s stance.

With Mr. Araneta taking the position of the new PhilWeb Chairman, the company submitted a new application for license renewal. It seems that Mr. Ongpin’s plan worked, as the President softened his position on the matter, which encouraged PAGCOR to renew PhilWeb license, issuing the company a Provisional Certificate of Accreditation as an Electronic Gaming System (EGS) service supplier.

This means that the PhilWeb is allowed to offer its software services and technological solutions to PAGCOR-licensed e-Gaming stations. It was announced that PAGCOR will still keep its watchdog position, monitoring if PhilWeb’s servers meet the requirements.

PhilWeb President Dennis Valdes told the interviewers that he is really happy with the new chance given to the company, promising to revive the e-Games stations. It should be noted that the company’s license expired in August 2016 and a year later it receives the approval of the country’s watchdog PAGCOR to renew its operations. Currently, PhilWeb is trying to stabilize its positions after witnessing a sharp stock decline for the year, in which it was out of the country’s vigorous gambling life.