Philippines casino operator cum gambling regulator, PAGCOR intends to come on board with an online casino for denizens there as early as the first quarter of 2024. The announced name is Casinofilipino. Casinofilipino.ph is the home page for a variety of large and small land-based casinos and dozens of satellite operations already in use by PAGCOR.
Casinofilipino.com is “taken” but parked free on Godaddy with servers based at Amazon for the last 90 days or so but was served by Google LLC for the three years prior.
Familiar Brand Name to Drive Local Traffic
It’s unclear which top-level domain will be used to serve players in the Philippines their first legal online games beginning next year. However, during the opening ceremony of the SiGMA Asia Summit 2023 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City on July 20, 2023, PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Alejandro H. Tengco referred to the dot com site in his keynote address according to information on the regulator/operator’s website.
The CEO explained some reasons for the launch, the main one being to raise revenue.
“This will bring several benefits and opportunities such as increased revenue, extended reach and market expansion, cost efficiency, and enhanced customer engagement,” Pagcor’s Tengco said. Launching the online casino would allow for additional revenue.
“It will allow players to interact with the digital counterparts of traditional casino games. This will also transcend physical boundaries and will enable users from around the world to interact and participate in virtual environments.
“It can reach a global audience and can establish a presence in virtual communities of avid gamers. It will likewise offer an opportunity to tap into new markets and diversify its customer base.”
As part of PAGCOR’s plans to modernize operations, changes will also be made at its land-based venues. Slot machine ops have already undergone the beginnings of modernization according to Tengco, which he said brings hope to continue the trajectory with at least 3,500 new machines being installed in its multitude of land-based venues.
“We endeavor to enhance our game offerings by replacing our old machines with a total of 3,500 brand-new units under a lease agreement with the manufacturer,” said the CEO.
He added inter alia, “We have already taken the preliminary steps and entered into negotiations with different manufacturers for the modernization of our slot machines. I expect our customers to have a renewed gaming experience.”
Casino Management System to be Revamped as Well
“This will play a pivotal role in improving Pagcor’s casinos in terms of operational efficiency, enhancing customer experience, facilitating real-time reporting and analytics, ensuring security and fraud prevention, optimizing financial management, and streamlining compliance requirements,” Tengco said.
Prior to announcing the upcoming money-making venture into cyber-space, the agency had launched a major crackdown on locally-based online gambling service providers without regard to the location of customers the alleged violators were serving. In early May over 1,000 human trafficking victims were rounded up and repatriated to their home countries when the Sun Valley Hub in Clark was raided.
Over 1,000 human trafficking victims were rescued from the government-owned buildings in the early-May raids, with about a dozen perpetrators being arrested. In response to that news, Philippine senators renewed calls to entirely eliminate POGOs (online operator-licensed companies).
CGC Technologies was the first POGO to lose its license as a result of the raid followed by every other operator at the hub at month’s end in one fell swoop by pulling a provisional license that allowed occupants to offer service. In addition to human trafficking, crypto scams were widely cited as a reason to end the POGOs.
Nearly 500 of the trafficking victims haled from Vietnam and have been sent home. At the time, Chairman Tengco stated that job seekers should “check the credibility of the companies that they are applying in. By going the extra mile, they can protect themselves from possible scams and human trafficking activities.”
Inside the Clark Freeport Zone are only four remaining accredited service providers and one licensed offshore gaming operator.
In early June the regulator joined the newly created Clark Security Advisory Council, just prior to its first meeting. The inter-agency organization aims to curb all illegal offshore gaming activities within the Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga.
During the Council’s launch on June 9, 2023, Atty. Jessa Fernandez, PAGCOR Assistant Vice President for Offshore Gaming Licensing announced that it will impose heavier sanctions on all licensed offshore gaming operators and accredited service providers who stray from the rules.
Revenues Recover from COVID Disruption
During his keystone address at the most recent event, Tengco noted the post-pandemic revenue story for PAGCOR:
“For the first half of this year, I am proud to share with you the figures we have generated so far. Our total income from gaming operations from January to June of 2023 has reached P34.125 billion. Of this amount, PAGCOR’s contributions to nation building also rose by 48.50% — from P15.23 billion in the first half of 2022 to P22.62 billion this year,” he said.
Tengco said that with the agency’s consistent upward revenue trend, it is highly possible for PAGCOR to reach or even surpass its pre-pandemic income by the end of 2023.
Source: PAGCOR to launch own online casino in 1st QTR of 2024, eyes modernization of slot machine operations, Gov.PH, July 20, 2023