Okada Manila operator approved for Philippines online gaming license

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Philippines gaming regulator PAGCOR has approved Tiger Resort, Leisure & Entertainment, Inc (TRLEI) to conduct online gaming operations out of its integrated resort Okada Manila.

According to a filing by parent company Universal Entertainment Corp, TRLEI has received a letter from PAGCOR dated 19 April approving entry into online gaming for table games and electric gaming machines as the first among the four integrated resorts comprising Entertainment City in Metro Manila.

Universal added it plans to launch online operations as soon as it completes test simulations and clears all necessary conditions, including confirmation of compliance with casino and AML regulations and payment of license fees.

PAGCOR also requires the system to be capable of being audited and of preventing minors and banned persons from playing.

The group considers this online gaming as the first step, and will continue to develop online sports betting gaming using its proprietary technology, Universal said.

Although details of exactly what online operations TRLEI plans to provide remain sketchy, it seemingly refers to the Philippine Inland Gaming Operator (PIGO) scheme introduced by PAGCOR last year as a means of boosting revenues during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the PIGO scheme, casino and integrated resort operators can be licensed to offer online gambling to existing registered members only, allowing these members to log in and play from anywhere within the country.

By comparison, the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) scheme permits licensed online operators to offer online gaming services only outside of the Philippines.

TRLEIs approval comes at an opportune time with Okada Manila having reported a US$86 million loss in 2020.