E-gaming cafes off the hook

The Philippines government has formally ended its four-month war on online gambling, with the government now focusing its attention on opening up the online gaming industry to more players.

According to an interview with radio news channel DZMM over the weekend, quoted by Calvin Ayre, Pagcor’s Ignacio noted the government will be strictly enforcing the country’s gambling rules.

“We will open it up to more people but only under very stringent measures,” he said.

He said one of the aspects the government will be closely watching will be the location of eGaming cafes, which need to be at least 200-meters away from schools and churches.

“If the distance from churches and schools is 200 meters as agreed upon, it has to be followed,” Ignacio said.

In September, the Philippines gaming regulator ordered the closure of 53 Bingo Bonanza and electronic games sites run by subsidiaries of Leisure & Resorts World Corp. (LWRC).

According to Pagcor at the time, the affected outlets were in violation of distance restriction guidelines set by the government, which states that gaming outlets must be at least 200 meters from schools and churches.

Some 36 e-bingo sites of AB Leisure Exponent Inc. (ABLE) and 17 sites of Total Gamezone Extreme Inc (TGXI) were ordered by Pagcor to immediately cease operations.

Later that month, the operator got back 20 eBingo sites, arguing as they were located in malls, arcades and hotels, they were considered exempted from distance requirements.