PAGCOR appoints James Bondoc as a board member, as the organization presides over a strong growth of iGaming revenue in the Philippines.
New Appointment at Helm of PAGCOR’s Social Responsibility Group
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) has appointed James Patrick Bondoc to its board of directors. Bondoc previously served as the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility Group between 2017 and 2021. His appointment comes after the passing away of Reynaldo E. Concordia, who would have been in office until July 2022.
Commenting on his appointment, Bondoc praised Concordia for his involvement with the Social Responsibility Group and its initiatives and vowed he would offer his services in memory of the chairman and in line with his legacy.
“Being in this new position will allow me to make policy adjustments that will further enhance PAGCOR’s Corporate Social Responsibility programs and, hopefully, the agency’s revenue generation capacity amidst the ongoing pandemic,” Bondoc explained.
The Philippines Embraces iGaming to Boost Economy
His appointment comes at a pivotal moment for the regulator as the Philippines embraces interactive gambling to boost flagging tourist revenue and help offset the impact of the COVID-19 health crisis.
There has been a significant increase in revenue, as reported by PAGCOR chair Andrea Domingo who said that the company should collect $761 million in 2021, or a 27% increase year-over-year. Part of this success comes from the regulator’s decision to split the teams overseeing land-based and online gambling.
Domingo justified the regulator’s decision to allow casino developments in Boracay, which was previously under moratorium. The move is somewhat controversial as local communities have dreaded the potential environmental impact of an expanded real estate project.
The moratorium was introduced in 2018, but Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte decided to strike it down, prompting Leisure and Resorts World Corp and Alliance Global Group to confirm interest in the land.
Regardless of renewed development efforts, however, PAGCOR has confirmed that it would focus heavily on Internet gambling. E-Sabong has been a steadfast driver of revenue, with the expected return from $8 million to $11 million every month in the quarter to follow. Domingo is confident that the enacted changes will contribute to the overall profitability of the gambling sector.
Growth Not Without Its Pains
And while the outlook for PAGCOR and the Philippines looks cheerful, not all is well. The watchdog estimates that it has failed to collect around $27.7 million from the so-called Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators, better known as POGOs.
POGOs were shut down amid the pandemic and with the help of external pressure from China which saw in them an unlicensed gambling product that was targeting Chinese nationals. If anything, the COVID-19 industry has been able to quickly decimate the POGO business model and bring the focus back on regulated options instead.