PhilWeb seeks survival, proposes text lottery to Pagcor

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 24 2016 02:32 PM

MANILA - Seeking to prevent the company from folding up, PhilWeb Corp. on Wednesday proposed to regulators the establishment of a text lottery that will replace its shuttered gaming cafe operations.

With 100 million cell phones in the country and 1.5 billion text messages sent daily, the planned "Pagcor Text Bonanza" can generate P50 billion to P100 billion in annual revenues, PhilWeb President Dennis Valdes said.

Valdez furnished the stock exchange with a copy of his letter to Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. Chairperson Andrea Domingo, which he said, included a business proposal.

The text lottery will "supplement" earnings from the Lotto system, which is operated by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, he said.

Pagcor had refused the offer of PhilWeb's former chairman, tycoon Roberto Ongpin, to donate almost his entire 53.76-percent stake in the company to spare its employees from the wrath of President Rodrigo Duterte.

Duterte had singled out Ongpin as among "oligarchs" that he wanted to destroy for making money out of the suffering of the poor.

But Pagcor said it was merely implementing Duterte's policy pronouncement to stop online gambling.