Duterte declared “war on gambling”
Philippine gaming services provider PhilWeb, forced to shut down last August by newly elected President Rodrigo Duterte, will have its license reinstated.
PhilWeb once provided gambling services to some 300 electronic gambling cafes in the Philippines, and had units in Cambodia, Guam and East Timor. Shortly after he took office, Duterte went to war with online gaming and made a special target of PhilWeb founder and majority shareholder Roberto Ongpin. Duterte called Ongpin an “oligarch” who needed to be “destroyed.”
In an effort to save the company and thousands of employees, Ongpin sold his 53.75 percent stake in the company to businessman Gregorio Araneta III. According to PhilStar, the state-run regulator, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., voted to reinstate PhilWeb’s license at a recent board meeting. PAGCOR has issued a provisional certificate of accreditation to the firm as an electronic gaming system service provider. PhilWeb will be free to offer its services again following an upcoming inspection of its servers and gaming facilities, reported the Asia Gaming Brief.
“This allows for a level playing field for any qualified provider,” said PAGCOR Chairwoman Andrea Domingo.
GGRAsia reports that PAGCOR will soon conduct an inspection of PhilWeb’s servers and internet cafes, then may issue a notice for the company to resume operations.