Pagcor rejects lotto proposal of Philweb
The state-controlled Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) has officially rejected the proposal of gaming technology service provider Philweb Corp. to roll out a mobile phone-based lottery platform.
In a letter dated Sept. 20 to Philweb, Pagcor chair Andrea Domingo said that after a review of the recommendations of pertinent departments and deliberations of the board, it was decided that the proposal be rejected at this time.
Domingo noted that the current policy of the government was to “strictly regulate and ensure nonproliferation of gambling avenues which are accessible to lower income brackets of society.”
The mobile phone-based lottery platform, seen to generate up to P100 billion in potential annual revenues, had been proposed by Philweb president Dennis Valdes as a way to somehow compensate for revenues foregone from the scrapping of a nationwide network of e-Games.
With more than 100 million cell phones and 1.5 billion text messages a day, Philweb had said that a mobile lottery would be lucrative even as the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) would continue to operate its lotto system. The PCSO’s existing lotto—which is done through the sale of thermal paper-printed tickets in some 4,000 outlets nationwide—earns some P30 billion a year, but bettors are required to physically queue at each outlet in order to purchase their tickets.
The proposed Pagcor Text Bonanza is based on a proprietary software developed by Philweb, in which a chosen lottery number is texted by a bettor to Philweb/Pagcor servers via mobile phones. The bettor, in turn, receives a confirmatory message regarding the chosen number (which becomes the lottery ticket) and saves this in the cellphone.
For its part, Pagcor earlier announced that it would instead start accepting letters of intent from applicants keen on acquiring an offshore gaming license. Offshore gaming is conducted via internet using a network and software to be offered exclusively to offshore authorized players who have registered and established an online gaming account with the licensee.
The gaming regulator said an offshore gaming license may be granted to a Philippine-based operator or an offshore-based operator organized in any foreign country who will engage the services of a Pagcor-accredited service/support provider for its online gaming activity. They will be referred to as Philippine offshore gaming operators.
Application and processing fees for offshore gaming licenses amount to $50,000 for e-casino and $40,000 for sports betting. Upon approval of the license, the applicant will pay $200,000 for an e-casino license and $150,000 for a sports betting license.
Authorized players of these offshore gaming offerings must be foreigners based in another country. Foreign nationals who are staying in the Philippines and Filipinos residing abroad are not allowed to take part in the online gaming activity. Likewise, individuals who are under 21 years old are not allowed to play.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.