Philweb regains accreditation
A year after being denied the renewal of its permit by gaming regulators, PhilWeb Corp.— now under a new owner—is ready to resume operations of its electronic gaming sites, thanks to a provisional operating license from Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.
The Pagcor permit officially makes PhilWeb an accredited electronic gaming system (EGS) service provider a little over a year after it shut down operations amid a crackdown against online gambling ordered by President Duterte soon after assuming office.
Mr. Duterte also singled out then PhilWeb chair and founder Roberto Ongpin as one of the “oligarchs” he wanted “destroyed,” sending the share price of the publicly listed firm plummeting, and forcing Ongpin, a former Marcos trade minister, to sell his firm to businessman Gregorio Araneta III.
As an accredited EGS service provider, PhilWeb can offer its software and other services to the operators of Pagcor-licensed gaming sites for electronic games, the firm said. Pagcor will soon conduct an inspection of PhilWeb’s servers and gaming facilities as required under the accreditation rules, after which it may then issue a notice to operate.
Pagcor approved an accreditation system for companies wishing to become service providers for the agency’s EGS last month.
According to Pagcor chair and CEO Andrea Domingo, the creation of an EGS service provider accreditation process, “will allow a level playing field for any qualified provider.” Through this, different operators of Pagcor’s electronic gaming outlets will be able to choose the service provider or providers that can best assist them in operating their outlets.
“We are grateful to Pagcor chair Domingo and the entire board of directors of Pagcor for their faith in our company and for giving us the opportunity to deliver services to their electronic gaming operators once again,” PhilWeb president Dennis Valdes said.
For his part, PhilWeb chair Araneta said he was “very confident that PhilWeb can now go back to doing what it does best, which is to be a service provider for electronic games, and in so doing, can contribute a significant amount of revenue to Pagcor.”
PhilWeb remitted over P2 billion to Pagcor in 2015, the last full year that it operated before its contract expired in 2016.
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