We trust that many of you joined us yesterday for one of this year’s most enlightening media events within the Asian gaming industry. In many ways, the appearance of PAGCOR Chair and CEO Andrea Domingo at our “Life After POGOs” forum was a fitting end for the Year of the Coronavirus in the sense that it focused on convergence between the land-based and online segments. Would the Philippines have adopted such policies on this timeline had it not been for the Covid shutdowns? We offer a detailed review of what PAGCOR’s leader had to say as well as the full video of the interview. Sticking with online matters, we also present the insights of Cherry Interactive General Manager Danny Too, who offered views on Malaysia and Dubai as possible online gaming bases for the Asian region. We also revisit our discussion with Mark Gilbert in yesterday’s webinar, who suggests that the decision to allow casinos to offer online gaming won’t create significant business growth for operators.
First, the news
- Life After POGOs online forum attracts 420 attendees
- Malaysia, Dubai seen as potential online gambling bases
- Global air traffic down by almost two-thirds in 2020
- Macau expects to see 5 million visitors in 2020
- Melco turns to AI to tackle food waste
- Singapore cruise turns back on positive Covid-19 test
- IPI refutes criticism from Saipan Chamber of Commerce
What you need to know
Malaysia and Dubai are both being viewed as potential bases for online gambling operations, as an alternative to the Philippines, where the cost of doing business has risen to a level considered as unacceptable by many operators. Speaking on an Asia Gaming Brief webinar, Cherry Interactive General Manager Danny Too said both jurisdictions had emerged as potential hosts. But Malaysia has absolutely ruled out the possibility of having any live dealer operations based in the country. Gambling needs to be kept offshore.
According to the latest estimate of the Airports Council International (ACI) World, the final figures for the year 2020 will show that global air traffic was down about 64.2 percent compared to the previous year. That means that the 2019 figure of about nine billion air passengers was cut to about three billion passengers as a result of the coronavirus. That said, the Asia-Pacific is the region of the world where the recovery has been most rapid, and the ACI World expects that it will close the year with a decline of about 59.2 percent. This somewhat lighter impact is driven by the resilience of the Chinese domestic market, which appears to have largely emerged from the worst of the coronavirus crisis.
Andrea Domingo, chair of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR), speaks with Asia Gaming Brief managing editor, Sharon Singleton, about the introduction of licenses allowing online gaming to be offered to Filipino citizens for the first time. Speaking on an AGB webinar, Domingo outlined that the service would be restricted to registered VIP players of the country’s casinos and e-gaming platforms. She says there will be strict know-your-customer and security protocols.
The Philippines’ decision to issue online gambling licenses to local casinos is likely to present interesting opportunities for suppliers, but the terms won’t create significant business growth for the operators. That was the view of igaming expert Mark Gilbert, speaking on Asia Gaming Brief’s “Life After POGOs” webinar. Philippines Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) Chair Andrea Domingo outlined some of the key criteria for issuing the new category of licenses. Aside from an attempt to boost Covid-19 battered revenue, she said the government is seeking to stamp out illegal gambling in the country, which has become prolific.
In Asia’s complex and diverse i-gaming landscape, having the right content means business success only if one more key ingredient is included – market knowledge. Solid Gaming may have been focusing on Asia for only 3 years but its penetration amongst operators is surely a testament to its local know-how.