There’s a new ‘sunshine industry’ that is shaping up the Philippine economy.
For years, the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry has been revolutionizing the employment and business sector in the country. Contributing more than 11 percent to the GDP, the BPO industry taps into the skills of Filipino workers to create knowledge-based products and offer assistance to many global companies. And with its slightly-better than average salaries for its employees, the industry has become the choice destination for many skilled workers and those adept in the English language.
Today, there’s a new industry with potential with the potential to shape the way we do business: offshore gaming through online casino As the name suggests, offshore gaming focuses on the design and provision of gambling services to foreigners. It’s a relatively new business model, with the Philippines as one of the most popular destinations for these operators.
What is Offshore Gaming and How Does it Work?
Offshore gaming refers to gambling services that are offered to foreigners. Companies will set shop and business presence in a specific country where restrictions are less and offer gambling services to players from other countries. Normally, offshore gaming happens when gaming in real money is not allowed in a specific country.
A perfect example of this is the relationship between Chinese players and operators based in the Philippines or the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators or (POGO). In China, the government bans its locals from playing casino games and other real-money games. To address these, gaming companies set shop in the Philippines to allow Chinese players to enjoy casino games. In offshore gaming, the majority of these companies stream the classic table games from blackjack, baccarat, to roulette. Other platforms stream proprietary games depending on the software provider or if the companies have in-house software.
How the Philippines Fit into the Growing Offshore Gaming Industry
As mentioned, the country is a popular destination for online casino operators. There are several reasons why the Philippines is a choice destination for gambling operators. One reason is the favorable regulatory requirements in the country compared to other regions. In the Philippines, all operators must be registered with the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).
Although gambling is punishable by law, it’s only applicable to locals. The law does not prohibit foreigners from playing casino games on a platform that’s registered in the Philippines. Also, the Philippines is home to First Cagayan, the first of its kind in Asia that approves the remote licenses of offshore gaming operators. Also, the prevailing political climate has been friendly to the business. Under the leadership of President Rodrigo Duterte, offshore gambling operators can freely operate provided they comply with the national regulatory requirements.
Status of Offshore Gaming Today
As the offshore gaming industry continues to grow, several stakeholders also managed to reap the benefits. In the Philippines, it’s the economy that’s getting a big boost. One area that’s getting a lot of help from the growing iGaming industry is the property market. There’s an increasing demand for office and residential spaces due to the growing requirements of these operators.
According to one recent survey, a substantial amount of pre-committed office spaces in the country has been snapped by operators. By the end of 2017, there are 700,000 new offices, but all these were all reserved and used up by companies involved in gaming. Specifically, the units in Filinvest Cyberzone Tower 2 and 3 were occupied by these companies owing to its location. Other cities in the country are also experiencing the same increase in demand. In Cebu, Mactan’s Tower One Plaza Magellan is fully booked powered by the demand from the industry.
Also, the national government earns through the taxes paid by the online casino in the Philippines. The PAGCOR alone generated Php 12 billion in revenues since its start of the collection in 2016. The offshore gaming industry hasn’t reached its full potential, but the country is now reaping the benefits. Thanks to the prevailing business climate and friendly laws, the Philippines is leading Asia-Pacific in cashing in on the growing online casino and gambling industry. And with this potential, we’re sure that the Philippines can become the leader in legal offshore gambling soon.