First Cagayan plans vast improvements to infrastructure

First Cagayan Leisure and Resort Corporation says it is looking to make substantial upgrades to its technical infrastructure in order to be more competitive against Pagcor’s new online gaming licenses, local media reports.

According to news outlet Calvin Ayre, online gaming operators licensed in the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) last week received letters from First Cagayan President Francis Hernando outlining the corporation’s new “strategic direction.”

The new direction involves a focus on data and telecommunication facilities, with First Cagayan promising to spend $4 million to upgrade its existing data center in Cagayan Cyberpark, and another $3 million to go towards upgrading infrastructure outside the Freeport.

Hernando says the upgrades will make First Cagayan’s hosting and connectivity capabilities on par with “established international gaming jurisdictions.”

He noted that First Cagayan is ready “to make substantial investments and exert efforts to bring these strategic plans to fruition” and hopes its licensees “will take a similar long-term view as well.”

The move from First Cagayan appears to be in response to Duterte’s recent crusade against online gambling in the Philippines, which was followed by the Philippines gaming regulator Pagcor announcing it would be issuing online gaming licenses for the first time.

As of December 2016, it was understood that Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) has issued around 35 offshore gaming licenses or POGOs, according to sources quoted by Philstar.