At the risk of sounding like Captain Obvious, PH Resorts Group Holdings COO Jose Angel Sueiro dished out some Real Talk™ at the G2E Asia 2022 expo.
That the coronavirus pandemic has been a “great reminder” for casino operators and government regulators to “understand [their] local market.”
Part of this, no doubt, is due to the tighter regulations recently being levied on junkets that bring high-rolling VIPs into the islands for getaway gaming sessions.
A crackdown on junkets would necessarily require a shifted focus to local players and more traditional gambling tourists.
However, the bigger issue is that – for much of the pandemic – Philippine travel restrictions limited the reach of gambling tourism in general.
The same way that domestic online casino gambling can help mitigate the negative economic impact of casino lockdowns, so too can an emphasis on local clientele help mitigate the negative economic impact of tourism downturns.
But even as domestic Philippine casinos and domestic Philippine online casinos expand to cater to more and more locals (albeit the minimum age to play remains 21 and up as opposed to offshore casino sites that require players to be just 18 or older to join), there are still other things they can do to broaden their reach further.
One of the things that local gambling venues should keep their eyes on is the growing interest in domestic crypto gambling.
Despite the ubiquity of Bitcoin betting and altcoin betting at offshore Philippine casinos and sportsbooks, domestic venues in the islands – and, frankly, everywhere else in the world – haven’t yet embraced cryptocurrency as a legitimate bet funding option.
However, down south in North Australia, local gaming regulators have officially started investigating the prospect of Bitcoin/crypto gambling banking methods.
There will necessarily be restrictions in place – such as limiting deposits and wager amounts, requiring registration of crypto wallets for payouts, automatic tax contributions and mechanisms thereof, etc. – but the impetus is there.
Because the demand is there.
Crypto, remember, has a track record of volatility in the short term but significant appreciation in the long term. Meanwhile, fiat currencies – such as USD, PHP, etc. – are the opposite: They’re relatively stable over the short term but always (always!) depreciate over the long term.
As such, it would be in both the casino venue’s best interest and the casino gambler’s best interest to manage as many online gambling transactions in crypto as possible.
That said, even though Australia may set this precedent for domestically regulated venues, legal online casinos and betting sites in the Philippines have already been supporting Bitcoin/crypto deposits and payouts for years.
Even better, there are usually no arbitrary “crypto-only” betting limits, while crypto deposits and withdrawals almost always come with the highest limits and the lowest fees.
Pragmatically, if you live in the Philippines and join a legal offshore betting site, you can already bet with crypto and receive same-day crypto payouts.
This is one of the biggest advantages of using such services to bet legally online, and even with Australia taking baby steps re crypto gambling, we don’t see most other nations – including the Philippines – following suit any time soon.