Pagcor mulls Internet gaming operations but outside PH
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) is studying the possibility of running its own Internet gaming that will only cater to customers outside the country where it is allowed, its chief has said.
Pagcor chairman and chief executive officer Cristino Naguiat said the state-owned gaming firm could generate at least P500 million initial revenue from internet gaming.
“We’re really studying this internet gaming. The estimated take for 2011 from the internet gaming is about $30 billion so we’d like to be part of it,’ Naguiat told the Senate committee on games and amusement during Tuesday’s hearing.
“But we don’t just want to go there baka mapaso lang kami so we’re really studying it and we’re talking to technical (experts),’ he said.
Internet gaming is different from e-games, which Pagcor described as a brand of online betting shops which has a server-based set up.
Internet gaming is web-based and the players can pit themselves against either the software or other afficionados. In contrast, the e-games have players competing against the software, Pagcor explained.
“Basically, the concept of this is that betting will be outside the country, not inside the country,” Naguiat told reporters after the hearing.
Pagcor’s legal chief, Jay Santiago, said “control mechanisms” would be put in place to ensure that no players — Filipinos or foreigners — within the Philippines could access the website and play.
Only those in countries where Internet gaming is allowed, will have access to the website, Santiago explained.
“No nationals will be allowed to access, log in or play. Mako-control po yun sa installation ng software… They will not be allowed to pay using locally issued credit card, local bank accounts,” he further said.
The IP address, Santiago said, would be blocked in the Philippines so that it could not be accessed by anyone within the country.
Three entities— Eagle Sky, Oxford, and Fontana — all based in Clark Pampanga have been issued permits by the previous management although the three have yet to start their operations.
The gaming firm, he said, was strongly against betting inside Philippine homes that was why it disapproved a similar proposal by Philweb Corp.
“We disapproved their proposal because we don’t want to bring betting inside a residential house,” he said.
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