The country’s gaming regulator announced on Friday that the Philippines would stop processing licence applications for e-bingo parlours and gaming cafes after President Duterte said in his cabinet meeting this week: “Online gambling must stop.”
Stock prices on large e-gaming companies took a nose-dive after Duterte added gambling to his list of things to stamp out within the country.
Leisure & Resort World fell almost 8.9 per cent to a five-month low on the Philippine Stock Exchange. Both Philweb and Leisure & Resort World declined to comment on the announcement.
Government data reports show that during the Ninoy Aquino administration, a major surge in gambling cafes, and internet-based card, table, video poker, slot machine and lottery type games took place throughout the country.
The newly appointed chair of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor), Andrea Domingo, said: “For now, we will freeze the issuance of licences for these types of games, and then review what the president said.”
On Friday, shares of gaming operator PhilWeb Corp. fell sharply in a 32 per cent decline, the lowest in almost 14 months.
PhilWeb Corp. operates 277 e-game outlets and 8,977 gaming terminals catering to over 90,000 members.
Government Data shows that 12,000 e-bingo machines are now in use throughout the Philippines, rising sharply from 2,160 when Aquino first took office.
Other gaming devices such as gambling terminals rose to 7,000, up from 4,662 six years ago.