The state-owned and controlled Philippines Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) is the sole authorized gambling operator in the Philippines. The company operates casinos, bingo, sports betting, and betting exchanges online and through brick-and-mortar establishments.
In 2000, PAGCOR authorized the Sports and Games Entertainment Corp. as the exclusive operator of the Philippines' only online casino. In 2002, the government opened its Internet gaming industry to competition when it granted Philweb Corporation control of online casinos. Philweb works in cooperation with PAGCOR to regulate and tax online gaming sites based in the Philippines.
Philweb is seeking growth in the online gaming market with international expansion and partnerships within Cambodia, Laos, and Guam as initial targets. The growth potential is expected to reflect 50% of the income in the next three to four years. Other Philweb expansions in the online gaming sector include mobile gaming. There are approximately 70 million mobile phones in the Philippines, which is a bigger market than computers. Philweb also launched Modular PAGCOR e-Games Cafes (MPEGs). MPEGs are large mobile shipping containers and can be easily moved from one location to another if a particular area is not generating sufficient business. The containers come complete with computer terminals and cashier facilities. Philweb does not have competitors in the online gaming sector within the Philippines. The most popular online game in the Philippines is baccarat, which accounts for 30 to 40% of the gaming volume.
PAGCOR also offers franchised e-Games Cafes. Operators may choose between a rented space and a modular cafe. An e-Games Café may be owned and operated with a start-up cost between PhP1.2M to PhP1.5M. There are no franchise fees, only a processing fee, and monthly revenue is 28% of casino winnings. The typical payback period is 12 months. An e-Games Cafe must be at least 200 meters away from educational institutions or places of worship and religious centers and at least 1 km away from existing PAGCOR e-Games Cafes.
The Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport, also known as Cagayan Freeport, is supervised and managed by the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA). Internet gaming licenses are available directly from Cagayan Freeport, and CEZA has the legal authority to approve online gambling applicants without prior acceptance from any national government agency, including PAGCOR.
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Cagayan Economic Zone Authority
Administration Complex, Centro
Sta. Ana, Cagayan Valley
+63 (2) 631-3997
+63 (78) 858-1017
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