According to Keith McDonnell, CEO of KMiGaming, the Philippines is not only the iGaming capital of Asia but also the iGaming capital of the entire world. McDonnell, who has spent the past ten years assisting European operators establish bases in Manila, said the Philippines’ exposure to the lucrative Asian market and distinct regulatory framework have positioned it as the most significant iGaming jurisdiction globally during a session titled “Focus Philippines:
Asia’s Undisputed Hub for iGaming?” on Day 1 of SiGMA Focus Asia on Monday. “A significant portion of the help I have provided operators has been education, specifically about Manila and the Philippines as an iGaming hub,” McConnell said. “A lot of them really don’t understand why Manila is where it is,”
Because the area is accustomed to these types of businesses setting up shop there, the infrastructure—including telecommunications, licensing, and talent—is in place, and the labor force in the Philippines is now very well educated. Overall, the Philippines has a lot to offer, and I’d even venture to say that it is the world’s largest iGaming hub. Manila is currently the largest iGaming market I am aware of.
Eman Pulis, CEO of SiGMA, Allen Yan, Director and Founder of Spade9, and Saxon Shadforth, Director of Avalon Marketing Services, all spoke on the panel.
They were all quick to allay worries that possible political unpredictability might make operators’ business environments uncertain. Since Cambodia, up until last year’s second-largest iGaming hub in Asia, revoked all of its licenses on January 1, 2020 in response to pressure from mainland China, the region’s iGaming sector has had to contend with ongoing political unpredictability.
Although the Philippines may be more volatile than Europe, Yan noted that the US has much more influence there than China does. I don’t see a problem with Cambodia bordering China and depending on its neighbor for vital infrastructure because the Philippines is a much more sovereign state.
The Philippine government agency in charge of regulating the casino and gaming industry is called the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR). It is completely owned by the Philippine government and is governed by the Office of the President of the Philippines. The money that PAGCOR makes is used by the government to fund social and civic projects and infrastructure. In well-known tourist locations across the nation, PAGCOR runs 13 casinos.
Companies and government
Corporation for Philippine Amusement and Gaming Number games and games of chance are regulated, controlled, and directly supervised by centralized government agencies in the Philippines. Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), the most well-known of these organizations, manages and issues licenses for gaming establishments like casinos, gaming clubs, and other similar recreational areas.
According to Presidential Decree No. 1067-A signed by former President Ferdinand Marcos, PAGCOR was established in response to the urgent need for the government to take action against the proliferation of illegal casinos and clubs that conduct games of chance indiscriminately. By consolidating and integrating the right and authority to run and conduct games of chance into one corporate entity, PAGCOR seeks to achieve this.
effects and impacts on society
Since its introduction and rise in popularity in the Philippines, gambling has influenced the culture and identity of the nation. The Philippines has gained a reputation as a gambling society, similar to other East and Southeast Asian nations.  This culture of gambling permeates various sectors of Philippine society, most prominently rural males. Gambling is a social, cultural, and economic phenomenon, a remarkably flexible method of redistributing wealth, and it is ingrained in sociocultural systems of societies, according to social anthropologist Per Binde.  The issue of gambling also has moral ramifications for the Philippine nation, which is predominately a Catholic country.
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