- PIGOs are slowly replacing POGOs in the Philippines
- Three Metro Manila casinos have already received PIGO licenses
- For now, PIGO access is limited to select IR VIP members
As the coronavirus lockdowns continue unabated in Metro Manila, the Philippine Amusement And Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) has – to date – granted a total of three PIGO licenses to recognized, trusted IR operators.
While it’s unclear whether these new Philippine Inland Gaming Operators will be authorized to host live dealer casino games (which are currently available at all the best offshore casinos serving PH gamblers), they will be allowed to offer their players a selection of electronic table games over the Internet.
These games will use the same RNG (Random Number Generation) technology that they already employ in the kiosk or cabinet format at local brick-and-mortar venues.
Such amusements include electronic slots, electronic blackjack, electronic roulette, and more, all of which are able to make the transition to the online space in a nearly seamless way.
Notwithstanding the social element, if you’re familiar with these kinds of land-based casino games, you’ll know exactly what to expect from their online counterparts – including payout lines, win rates, and more.
Currently, the retail venues PAGCOR has selected to pilot the PIGO program are the following popular destinations:
- Solaire Resort & Casino
- Resorts World Manila
- Okada Manila
While PIGO licenses are limited, they’re not limited to the trio of operators that have already received them.
In fact, a fourth PIGO operator, City of Dreams Manila, could be granted a license at any time.
However, there is no hurry to hand out these licenses, as the Philippines exercises very strict control over domestic gambling.
PAGCOR chief Andrea Domingo explains why the rollout is slow:
“It’s all limited because we need to regulate them. Not just anyone can play because of non-proliferation and responsible gaming [laws].”
What Domingo is referencing here is the fact that casino gambling in the Philippines is heavily regulated when it comes to native Filipinos and resident players.
To be eligible to gamble with IRs in Manila, Filipinos must prove a certain annual income and abide by a weekly betting limit.
Of these players, those deemed to be in long-term good standing – or VIP members – will be allowed to access the new PIGO online services.
For all other PH residents, of course, the only legal option for gambling online is to use an offshore operator.
This makes gambling offshore a major comparative benefit on top of the expanded access for all players aged 18 and up.
And with the PBA season tipping off any time now, these sites are all the more full-court pressing!