PEZA shuts door on online gaming firms

The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) has made the decision to no longer allow online gaming firms to operate in any of its accredited sites across the country, local media reports.

Director General Charito Plaza said the agency was recently asked by the Office of the President (OP) to allow BPOs (business process outsourcing companies) who are into online gaming, but came to the decision after its board of directors met with the BPO association.

“After meeting with the PEZA board and the BPO association, we reached a consensus that we will not allow because first, gambling is not a mandate of PEZA. Second, allowing it might affect operations of our legitimate BPO locators,” she said.

Plaza said there were over 100 online gambling related businesses in Metro Manila, mostly operating in PEZA-accredited buildings.

Plaza said she would ask owners of all PEZA-accredited buildings not to allow online gaming firms to operate in their premises, especially those “disguising as BPO.”

“Since PEZA board will not allow online gaming, they (building owners) should stop allowing the lessee to occupy the accredited buildings,” said Plaza.

“We do not want to ruin the image of the legitimate BPOs locating in our sites,” she added.

The ban also applies to any firm engaging in technical support for online gaming firms, said Plaza.