PAGCOR calls out Philweb’s “absurd” bias claims

The Philippine Amusement & Gaming Corporation has furiously denied claims that the auditing requirements placed on Philweb are biased in favor of one of its competitors.

Earlier this week, Philippines-listed Philweb Corp petitioned an injunction to stop PAGCOR from implementing a new rule that requires its electronic gaming operations to be monitored by a third party audit firm.

Philweb said that the rule was designed to give its competitor, Inter-Active Entertainment Solutions Technology (IEST), additional advantages, as it is currently the sole holder of an Intellectual Property Licensing and Management Agreement (IPLMA) which excuses it from EGMS coverage.

On Tuesday, PAGCOR called the allegations “absurd” and “nothing more than a mere figment of Mr. Araneta’s imagination.”

In an official statement sent to Asia Gaming Brief, the regulator explains that the Electronic Gaming System (EGS) Accreditation framework is a new regulatory model for online games in place of the IPLMA.

PAGCOR added that the framework is in compliance with the conditions set by the President for reopening of online gaming operations and that without such a system, they would be forced to close online gaming completely.

PAGCOR also explained that IEST could not be immediately covered by the EGMS as it still has an existing and valid contract in relation to the IPLMA – a legacy agreement with a similar function to the EGS Framework.

“In the case of PHILWEB, their IPLMA expired in July 2016 and was no longer renewed since it is no longer legally justifiable to do so,” explained the regulator.

PAGCOR said it will not go back to the old arrangement of relying on system providers to monitor the income of licensees, which is why a bidding process for an EGMS is so important.

“Without the Independent EGMS, PAGCOR will not be able to comply with the requirement set by the President and as a consequence PAGCOR may be ordered to stop online gaming operations currently under the EGS accreditation framework,” it reiterated.