PIGO licences allows casinos to welcome qualified domestic VIP players located within the Philippines
In early November, Bloomberry’s Solaire Resort & Casino was the only casino operator in the Philippines given the greenlight to accept bets online.
Last week, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation's (PAGCOR) , Andrea Domingo (pictured), confirmed to Asia Gaming Brief, that it has now issued the newly created Philippine Inland Gaming Operator (PIGO) licences to two of the four integrated resort (IR) casinos in the country, namely, Melco Resorts’ City of Dreams, and Universal Entertainment Group operating Okada Manila, along with an operator in Subic Bay.
The operators can begin to offer services by the end of December or early next year.
The PIGO licences only permit the casinos to welcome qualified domestic VIP high rollers located within the Philippines which is totally the opposite of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs), that targets international gamblers, most especially in mainland China.
Domingo said that, in addition to PIGO services targeting VIP players, the players will need to be Philippine residents and deposit funds at the land-based casino. Players will be identified by using face recognition technology.
“They can only play if they’re considered or classified as VIP players and they are already in their player-tracking system.”
This means that not all Filipinos will be permitted to place bets online and access a PIGO site.
Gross gaming revenue from PIGO operators will be taxed at a 30% rate, with licencees sending 25% of their winnings to PAGCOR, and the remaining 5% to the Philippines Bureau of Internal Revenue.
In August casinos in Manila were granted resumption of operations again and at the moment casinos are operating at a 30% capacity. This saw huge losses for the land-based operators as well as for PAGCOR.
The gaming regulator’s proposal to allow land-based casinos to accept bets online has been seen as a way to mitigate losses and refill the state’s exhausted funds caused by the economic impact of COVID-19. Full interview: AGBrief
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