E-Sabong, aka Online Cockfighting, Is Contributing P400 Million to PAGCOR Per Month
With lockdown extended, one industry that’s banking on opportunities online is e-sabong, the online version of cockfighting that’s contributing an average of P400 million per month to the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR).
In an interview with ANC, the chair and CEO of PAGCOR, Andrea Domingo, revealed that the rise of e-sabong and online games as a whole have become an important source of income for the government.
“It’s the online games now that are earning the money for the government,” said Domingo.
There are only four licensed e-sabong operators in the country, but they have already supplied PAGCOR with P1.6 billion in just four months. Two more e-sabong operators, which have just received their licenses, are expected to add P150 million to PAGCOR’s monthly e-sabong income.
All e-sabong operators are required to contribute a minimum of P75 million per month to PAGCOR, which has placed a cap on the number of e-sabong operators to 12. That leaves six licenses open to applicants, which could potentially double PAGCOR’s e-sabong income.
Since PAGCOR began regulating online cockfighting, e-sabong has apparently filled the space left by Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs) as almost half of these China-backed POGOs have closed up shop due to the extended lockdown.
From 60 POGO licenses, PAGCOR is now down to 33, while the number of accredited service providers has dropped from 300 to 167.
According to Domingo, POGO revenues, projected to end at P5 billion this year, are “okay,” but e-sabong could potentially outperform POGOs soon enough. E-sabong has been around for a while, but had not been formally regulated by PAGCOR until May, 2021.