PhilWeb, DFNN react to Duterte's tirade vs online gaming


Posted at Dec 23 2016 12:02 PM

MANILA - Listed companies PhilWeb Corp. and DFNN Inc. on Friday released clarifications on President Rodrigo Duterte's latest call to close down all online gaming operations.

In a disclosure to the stock exchange, PhilWeb said it "does not engage in online gaming" and merely provides software to the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) for its network of e-Games outlets.

"PhilWeb’s software cannot be played from homes or offices. Each e-Games outlet is owned by an individual entrepreneur whose Gaming License is issued by PAGCOR directly to them. Each e-Games outlet therefore pays all taxes, as does PhilWeb itself," the company said.

PhilWeb is applying for a new license after Pagcor refused to renew its license. Its former chairman, tycoon Roberto Ongpin, resigned and divested from the company after Duterte branded him as an oligarch who must be destroyed.

In a separate disclosure, DFNN Inc. said the President's remarks "pertain to online gaming that is not under the supervision of Pagcor."

"The DFNN Group through it's investee subsidiaries has multiple existing valid licenses under the State Gaming Regulator," it said.

After sharp declines following Duterte's tirade, shares of PhilWeb and DFNN are leading gainers on Friday trade. PhilWeb shares were up 16.51 percent while DFNN shares were up 27.16 percent. 

Meanwhile, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II clarified Friday that the closure order was for all online gambling firms.

Aguirre said a task force will be formed to investigate the operations of online gambling, and the closure will be conducted through due process. -- Report from Warren de Guzman, ABS-CBN News