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Philippines allows land-based casinos to accept bets online

Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators, or POGOs, employ more than 100,000 workers — most of whom are from China accommodating Chinese punters overseas. Tory Ho/AFP. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

MANILA, Nov 3, 2020, Bloomberg. The Philippine gaming regulator has allowed land-based casinos to accept bets online, its president said, in a move that could help operators mitigate losses due to the pandemic. Gaming stocks rose, Bangkok Post reported.

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. has approved applications from Bloomberry Resort Corp.’s Solaire Resort and Casino, City of Dreams Manila, and Okada Manila for betting through the Internet, president Alfredo Lim said in mobile-phone messages to Bloomberg.

Shares of Bloomberry rose as much as 4.1% while shares of Premium Leisure Corp, which earns from City of Dreams Manila, jumped 6.3%. Belle Corp, parent of Premium Leisure, gained more than 2%.

The nation’s gross gaming revenue fell 96% in the second quarter due to the shutdowns to stem the spread of the coronavirus, with casino operators like Bloomberry posting losses.

The gaming regulator has been pushing to gradually reopen land-based casinos after they were shut in March as the government imposed lockdowns and travel restrictions. Online casinos that only serve offshore markets and catering mostly to Chinese clients have also been hit by restrictions and a new tax on bets.

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