Okada Manila Wins Online Gaming License From PAGCOR

Okada Manila is also reviewing SPAC offers for listing in New York.

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) has approved Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment Inc’s (TRLEI) application to offer online table and machine gaming to its customers. This makes Okada Manila the first to offer online gaming of the big four integrated resort city operators in Entertainment City.

Multiple news sources have reported the news based on a filing by TRLEI’s parent company Universal Entertainment Group, which said that it received the letter from PAGCOR dated April 19 "approving entry into online gaming for table games and electric gaming machines..."

The approval is contingent on TRLEI’s payment of license fees, compliance with casino regulations, anti-money laundering laws, and test simulations.

Universal is also required to ensure that minors and those that have been banned are prevented from actually playing the casino games.

“The group considers this online gaming as the first step, and will continue to develop online sports betting gaming using its proprietary technology,” the website Inside Asian Gaming quoted Universal as saying.

There was no mention of exactly what kinds of online games TRLEI plans to offer, although reports last year confirmed that PAGCOR had already granted Philippine Inland Gaming Operator licenses to three of the gaming resorts in Entertainment City: Okada Manila, Solaire Resort and Casino, and City of Dreams Manila.

Unlike the more popular POGOS or Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators, which targets overseas gamers, PIGO licenses are for online gambling services limited to the domestic market.

A report on GGRAsia said that PAGCOR had likewise granted PIGO licenses to “a casino operator” in Subic Bay, as well as listed company DFNN Inc.


Okada Manila reported a $86 million (P4.16 billion) loss in 2020 driven mainly by the effects of the pandemic.

Last month, Universal announced that it is reviewing offers from special purpose acquisition companies (SPAC) to take Okada Manila public in the New York Stock Exchange.

“The company has received several offers through our US financial advisor from more than one SPAC, at valuations of our integrated resort business in the Philippines, with the amount that is above the construction cost covered by Tiger Resort, Leisure and Entertainment, which operates said business, has raised from the company and financial institutions thus far,” Universal said in a letter submitted to Japanese securities bourse JASDAQ. 

It was through a similar SPAC merger deal that Southeast Asian giant Grab was able to take its business public on the Nasdaq market in New York.

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Paul John Caña
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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