PAGCOR collects PHP1b from eSabong in first four months

The Philippines Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) says it has already collected more than PHP1 billion ($19.9 million) in fees from licensed eSabong operators in their first four months of operation.

In a press release, the regulator warned the public not to engage will illegal operators offering bets on cockfighting, which is a highly popular sport in the Philippines.

PAGCOR said it is working with the national police, the National Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Information and Technology to help stamp out illegal operators.

The regulator warned against viewing eSabong as anything other than a form of entertainment and offered advice on avoiding gambling when feeling depressed or upset.

PAGCOR said it had chosen to regulate eSabong to protect the public and to ensure the government gets its appropriate share of revenue.

There are currently 4 licensed operators, with a further 12 applications pending. Earlier this week, PAGCOR Chair Andrea Domingo said that there would be a cap of 12 licenses in total. The first licensed eSabong operators went live in May.

Domingo said she expects eSabong revenue to outstrip that of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs).