STATE-RUN Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) on Thursday rejected businessman Roberto Ongpin’s surprise offer to donate 49 percent of his shareholdings in gaming technology firm PhilWeb Corp., pointing to President Rodrigo Duterte’s order to shut down all forms of online gambling.
Pagcor’s decision is expected to lead to the closure of PhilWeb, whose license as technology provider to 286 Pagcor “e-Games” outlets nationwide has expired. An estimated 6,000 workers will lose their jobs.
“The issue is not [Ongpin] or PhilWeb per se. It is the President’s and his government’s opposition to on-line and on-site electronic gaming because of the social ills and decay they foist on our communities as they cater to the more economically vulnerable portion of our population,” Pagcor chief Andrea Domingo said in a statement.
“The campaign to correct or stop previous gaming policies that bring about such pernicious social conditions just had to start with PhilWeb, simply because its license had expired,” she added.
The Pagcor chairwoman said her agency would “deal with similar cases involving other parties accordingly.”
The decision came a day after Ongpin announced his last-ditch attempt to save PhilWeb by donating 49 percent out of his 53.76-percent shareholdings in PhilWeb to Pagcor.
This would have kept PhilWeb alive under Pagcor, which functions as regulator and casino and e-Games operator.
Ongpin had resigned as PhilWeb chairman and initially decided to get out of the company through a public auction of his stake.
Earlier, he said that PhilWeb, “with no income, will surely disintegrate before the end of this month of August.”