POGO boom drives real estate sales in Manila, Cebu

Growth in online gambling in the Philippines is driving a real estate boom in Manila, which is now spilling over to the island of Cebu, as operators seek more space and cheaper prices. The ascent to power of mercurial President Rodrigo Duterte in 2016 cast a shadow over the country’s online gambling industry, amidst threats of a shutdown. However, instead a new licensing regime was put into place, allowing land-based regulator, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp, to offer licenses and to compete with the existing licensor, First Cagayan. The upheaval and uncertainty lead to First Cagayan losing more than half its licensees, dropping to less than 80 from more than 200 before the changes. Many online firms also relocated to neighboring jurisdictions, such as Taiwan and Cambodia. However, real estate figures suggest the online market in the Philippines is still alive and thriving. Most of the online gaming companies that have...

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