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Philippines government now takes aim at bingo

The Philippines’ new government has continued its bid to “destroy” online gambling with the announcement that all licences for electronic bingo games will not be renewed.

Leisure & Resorts World Corp, the largest operator within the country’s biggest gaming segment, saw its share price tumble by more than 20% following the news, with the government also stating that it will not issue any new permits.

The decision on electronic bingo games is President Rodrigo Duterte’s most significant attack on the industry so far, with the vertical accounting for around three quarters of all iGaming revenue in the Philippines.

Duterte became leader of the country in June and has vowed to “destroy” online gambling in a campaign that has already led to the resignation of the chairman of PhilWeb Corp, a leading gaming technology provider.

Andrea Domingo, the chairman of the Philippine Amusement & Gaming (Pacgcor) regulator said the government is opposed to 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”.

Leisure & Resorts controls 35% of the Philippines’ bingo market, and generated 9.62 billion pesos (€182.9 million / $207.0 million) of revenue from the segment in H1 2016.

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