PIGO joy for Manila pair

In the Philippines and the giant Resorts World Manila and Solaire Resort and Casino properties have reportedly followed their neighboring Okada Manila venue in being officially licensed to offer online gaming to domestic punters.

According to a report from Inside Asian Gaming, the authorizations under the Philippine Inland Gaming Operator (PIGO) scheme were revealed by the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for the nation’s Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCor) regulator, Andrea Domingo. The source detailed that such licenses are to give the venues the ability to offer a wide range of iGaming entertainment including video slots and live-dealer games to afficionados in the Philippines that have first registered.

Distressing dilemma:

The PIGO experiment, which differs from the country’s existing Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO) arrangement, was reportedly brought in late last year as a way to allow land-based casino operators to earn revenues even as their venues are shuttered owing to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The government of the Philippines closed all of the casinos in metropolitan Manila for a second time from March 29 in order to help stop the spread of an ailment that has so far been responsible for the deaths of over 17,600 locals.

Initial intent:

Although details remain scarce regarding just what the properties intend to include on their coming online casinos, the operator of the 993-room Okada Manila, the Tiger Resort Leisure and Entertainment Incorporated subsidiary of Japanese conglomerate Universal Entertainment Corporation, reportedly earlier declared that it intends to start with ‘online table games and slot machines.’

Piecemeal premiere:

Domingo reportedly stated that the PIGO licenses were initially being issued on a limited basis because her organization ‘needs to regulate them’. The regulator purportedly asserted that the intended go-slow nature of the authorizations would moreover aid in ‘non-proliferation and responsible gaming’, which are two principles she asserted would always be upheld.

Receding receipts:

In addition to its duties as a regulator, PAGCor is also reportedly responsible for some 19,900 slots alongside over 2,000 gaming tables offered via its six Casino Filipino-branded venues and chain of about 30 satellite properties spread across the Philippines. The organization recently saw its first-quarter aggregated gross gaming revenues drop by 51.4% on a comparative basis to just over $172.37 million as its associated net profit plummeted by approximately 80% to sit slightly in excess of $3.14 million.

Persuasion push:

With this in mind, Domingo reportedly divulged that she had begun lobbying combative President Rodrigo Duterte for permission to partially re-open land-based casinos in metropolitan Manila as soon as the local rate of coronavirus infection falls below its current level.