PAGCOR Shuts Online Gaming to Fight Covid-19 Outbreak

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The Philippines national gaming regulator has warned all iGaming operations to shut down activities by noon on March 21, 2020. The measure is part of the broader effort to bring the spreading of COVID-19 under control.

PAGCOR Orders All Gambling, Including iGaming to Stop

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation has issued a new ordinance whereby PAGCOR will temporarily suspend the iGaming industry. The measure is a direct result from the broader initiative to limit the spreading of the novel coronavirus in the Philippines. PAGCOR has coordinated the decision with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.

As a result, the decision signed by Jose S. Tria, Jr, PAGCOR’s chief, all gaming operations will have to temporarily shut down activities by March 21, 2020 at the latest. PAGCOR has taken pretty far-reaching measures to ensure compliance, suspending even home set-up work.

Recently, casinos were allowed to offer gaming products remotely, but the Temporary Permits to Operate have been recalled and declared null and void, the official statement ran.

All POGO Licenses and Service Providers found to be still operating after the ban has come into force will face further cancellation of license and their accreditation and will be reported to the competent authorities, PAGCOR cautioned potential wrongdoers.  

Here is what the official statement added:

We trust your utmost compliance with the governments’ mandate in order to prevent the spread of the virus. We urge you to advise all employees to stay at home, stay healthy, and follow all the protocols from the local government units and health authorities.

POGO Operators Respond to the Call to Arms

Mansion Casino has been among the first to respond to the government’s call for compliance. In cooperation with PAGCOR, Mansion has informed players that the casino will be temporarily suspended in line with Proclamation No. 929 s. 2020, as the official order is listed.

The operator cited the COVID-19 as the reason why. Yet, M88 said it would guarantee the safety of all players’ funds while the lockdown is in progress the official warning message stated. Mansion Casino didn’t fail to cite the company’s ten years in business as proof for the reliability of the operator.

More updates would be coming, the statement ran, informing players and apologizing for the inconvenience caused. PAGCOR has become the first gaming regulator to suspend online gaming due to fears for the further spread of COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the land-based casino industry in the United States is looking at losses estimated at $43.5 billion, the American Gaming Association (AGA) warned. Nevada has even ordered the suspension of all land-based gambling activities, humorously prompting a mass lockdown with hotels and casinos hurrying up to hire locksmiths to secure the facilities against petty crime.

While PAGCOR  has long been a thorn to some within the country and particularly China, the issue has taken a backseat in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak.

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