Ramon Garcia, the Chairman and Founder of Philippine-based DFNN, says that the Philippines is one of the most “innovative, responsive, gaming environments”, highlighting the flexibility of the government to allow interactive gaming during the pandemic period.

Speaking at the ASEAN Gaming Summit, Garcia noted that the country – specifically under the leadership of what he calls a new “well-chosen PAGCOR board from differing backgrounds”, is now taking a different, partnership-led approach, with PAGCOR looking at legal entities as business partners.

One hurdle to improving the gaming environment in the Philippines, notes Garcia, is taxation, with higher taxation allowing more space for the grey and black markets to still be attractive.

But overall, Garcia notes that the country is moving to allow more foreigners, and companies, to move to the country – noting that many gaming-linked companies have actually relocated their regional headquarters to Manila – from Singapore, from Macau and other Asian gaming hubs.

Garcia also claims that the nation has a higher percentage of ultra-high-net worth individuals than other surrounding regions, including Singapore.

In general, Garcia stated “I don’t think there’s a better place to come than the Philippines as a small company,” but advises that groups should “get a reputable, good lawyer” and “look for a reputable, good Philippine partner”.