The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) has given its approval to the sports wagering operator MegaSportsWorld (MSW), allowing it to provide remote sports betting services to punters nationwide. It has been a tough time for the Philippine landbased gambling industry, with the coronavirus pandemic still raging throughout the country. The Philippine capital and the country’s most densely populated city, Manila, has been particularly badly hit as most landbased gaming venues were forced to shut their doors from August 6 to August 20.
The decline in terrestrial gambling has acted as a catalyst for the expansion of the local remote betting industry. The country has seen several initiatives to introduce remote gaming operations and MSW has taken advantage of one of them. The new MegaSportsWorld online platform will enable Filipinos to legally punt from the comfort of their surroundings. Jeff Mann, the betting firm’s Managing Director, commented that MSW will now be able to offer regulated online services to verified customers for the first time in its twelve-year history.
The company will take online wagers in addition to its lucrative landbased offering. Mr. Mann confirmed that like most businesses in the country, MegaSportsWorld has also been badly affected by the coronavirus pandemic and its associated restrictions during the last sixteen months. However, the betting company is currently in a “build back” mode and will invest aggressively in the expansion of its online operations over the next five years, the Managing Director said.
The Online Platform Will Enable MSW to Solidify Its Position on the Local Market
PAGCOR’s approval of the MSW online platform came just at the right moment, Mr. Mann proceeded. The online outfit will further solidify the company’s leading position on the local betting market. Before the coronavirus pandemic started raging in the Philippines, MegaSportsWorld offered its landbased services in around seventy retail outlets across the country. Additionally, the company took wagers via a VIP telephone service.
The leading betting company recently expanded its operations with the launch of a new retail outlet at City of Dreams in the Philippine capital. The company also operates retail outlets at Winford Manila Resort and Casino, Resorts World Manila, and several other PAGCOR-regulated brick-and-mortar casinos. According to Managing Director Mann, the launch of the MSW online platform would help combat unauthorized sportsbooks that have illegally taken advantage of the local market.
The illegal operators have been targeting local punters even more aggressively during the coronavirus pandemic, Mr. Mann said. PAGCOR’s regulatory approval puts the company on a level playing field with the illegal operators that are MSW’s only competition at the current moment. Mr. Mann is confident the company will manage to win back its lost market share from the unauthorized operators thanks to its long-standing reputation in the local industry.
In 2020, PAGCOR gave the thumbs up to the Philippine Inland Gaming Operators (PIGO) scheme. The latter allows landbased casinos and integrated resorts to apply for licenses and provide remote gambling to existing registered customers, enabling them to sign in and place bets from anywhere within the Philippines.