According to reports the Manila casinos have received online gambling operations to make up for the losses incurred due to the pandemic in the land-based businesses.
Reports suggest that Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) have agreed to allow several land-based casinos to launch online betting operations to offset the mounting losses.
Alfredo Lim, the president of PAGCOR that the regulatory body has approved applications from three casinos in the Entertainment City Gaming Zone, Bloomberry Resorts’ Solaire Resort & Casino, Melco Resorts & Entertainment’s City of Dreams Manila, and Universal Entertainment’s Okada Manila for online betting.
PAGCOR previously confirmed that they have received requests from the casinos and the government departments are studying the idea.
However, it is not immediately clear whether the arrangement is permanent. It may be a stopgap for the casinos as well. Currently, the casinos are operating at 30% capacity.
As international tourists in the Philippines is quite thin, it is unclear whether the local residents would be allowed for online betting. However, some suggest that it would only replace the so called ‘proxy betting’ when a trusted confidant used to be physically present at the casino for VIP gamblers.
Junket operators also played a key role in proxy betting. However, things may not be the same for them. The newfound tolerance for online gambling could impact the Suncity Group junket. This is one of the major players in Manila and the Chinese accuse it to be the largest junket operators targeting the mainland gamblers.
In June, Andrea Domingo, the PAGCOR boss said that the Suncity operations have been halted. However, Suncity said that the telebetting operation has nothing to do with the halt and it would continue.
Suncity Group is currently developing its own casino in Manila along with Travellers International Hotel Group.