Philippine gambling industry with donations

Not only the Canadian ones are affected by the current corona pandemic and European gambling industry affected. There is uncertainty in the market worldwide, this also applies to the Philippines. It is all the more gratifying that the gaming authority PAGCOR (Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation) has nevertheless agreed to help in this difficult situation. Exactly the same applies to the so-called POGOs, i.e. the offshore casino providers in the Philippines.

Die Stadt Manila bei Nacht.

Heart of the Philippines: The vibrant capital Manila has also been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Stronger than any other region within the country.(©TheDigitalWay/Pixabay)

Useful tools in the fight against the infection

The Corona The pandemic affects countless people around the world. Medical aids are enormously needed in many countries, but there is often a lack of financial means, especially in poorer regions. For this reason, the Philippine Gaming AuthorityPACGOR has agreed to put together amulti-million dollar aid package to contain the virus. This has already been approved. According to statements by the authorities, the so-calledPOGOs, i.e. the offshore gambling providers in the Philippines, are also involved in this package. The companies have therefore provided an amount of around 2.7 million euros. It was urgently needed. Among other things, food and medical products for the supply of hospitals were purchased from the donations.

Additionalequipment for the national police of the country was also purchased. Among other things, it will receive three thermal imaging cameras, which are used at Manila Airport. In this way, officials can determine the body temperature of travelers and thus detect possible infections at an early stage. A large part of the donation money was also used to provideneedy families with urgently needed groceries.

Capital Manila hit hard by the virus

As in other countries, there are now numerous infections in the Philippines. The figures also indicate an increasing trend.The capital region Metro Manila is particularly affected. The population here has been under domestic quarantine since March 15th. According to the authorities, this should also apply for at least one month. Within the country, the region with more than twelve million inhabitants is hardest hit by the virus. The cities of Pasay, Taguig City and Quezon City, among others, were supported by the campaigns in this region. Nevertheless, an increase in the numbers has recently been reported. More than 700 people are infected, and according to official reports, more than 40 people have already died from the virus.

TheThe total amount donated by the authorities and companies amounts to the equivalent of around 3.7 million euros, according to a statement by PACGOR. In addition to the offshore providers, four licensed casinos in the country have also agreed to support. Speaking to the newspaperThe Manila Times Gaming Authority Chairman Andrea Domingo said:

“We are a significant contributor to the government's efforts and want ours Part of helping to cushion the impact and the sharp drop in government revenue. This is caused by the slowdown in business activities due to the measures taken to contain the spread of COVID-19.”

It is fitting that the Gaming Authority decided early on to shut down its own industry. In the course of the regional quarantine regulations from mid-March, PACGOR declared at the time that all state casinos had to be closed. From the outset, the Authority believed that the pandemic could be a serious problem and would thereforesupport the "extreme efforts of the government" to contain the virus.

Industry hoping for green light for online gaming

PACGOR says a request has already been made to the government totemporary restrictions for online gambling. This was also prohibited in the course of the quarantine regulation. It may therefore also have been in their own interest that PACGOR put together an extensive aid package. After all, it is the Philippine government that decides whether to relax online gambling. Domingo explains that if the requirements are relaxed, the POGOs could at least compensate for impending losses. Employees could continue to work from home, while slot machines or live dealer games could continue to be offered.

The offshore casinos are officially only active outside of the Philippines. Despite being based in Manila and Co., the games are offered in other countries. In this waythe offshore casinos generate massive revenues for the Philippines but also attract criticism. The Chinese government repeatedly accuses offshore providers of making illegal gambling available to the Chinese. Aresponse from the Philippine government to the PACGOR request is still pending.

PACGOR and POGOs do not always agree

Although going hand in hand on the fundraiser and the current demands, the PAGCOR and the POGOs do not always agree. The most recent major conflict was only a few months ago. In September 2019, the authority decided to close one of the largest offshore providers.Around 8,000 employees were affected by the lockdown of the company GEGAC at the time. The company was closed due to tax misconduct. GEGAC, however, was more of an example that was set. Of the officiallyapproved tax revenue of around 380 million euros, the authorities only received around 24 million euros from the offshore providers in 2019.

The result: the authorities and finance minister Carlos Dominguez demanded that non-paying offshore providers be closed by decree. In this context, the strong participation of the POGOs in the rescue package could also lead to a rethink in politics. It is quite possible that this idea played a role in the companies. Either way, the health crisis could actually lead to therelationship between all those involved improving somewhat. That would be an odd and welcome side development in an otherwise dreary time in the Philippines. It is also true in the holiday paradise that the highest level of infections has apparently not yet been reached. The country is therefore likely to have to struggle with the effects of the Corona crisis for a long time. It is now up to the government to get the population through this time safely and, if possible, without devastating damage.

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The article was published on April 1st, 2020 in the magazine by cpaws-ov.org under the keywords, ,,, ,,, published.
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