Online gaming in Asia is in its infancy, but one organization has a jump on the others. The Philweb Corp., affiliated with government-owned operator and regulator Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR), has been operating online wagering parlors since 2004. Today, the company operates 277 e-games cafés across the country.
Philweb President Dennis Valdes says the company is thriving even with the introduction of two integrated resorts in Manila over the past several years, Resorts World Manila and Solaire, which debuted last month.
“We found that the gamers are very different,” he said. “You see in our track records or revenue that there has been no effect on e-games. The reason for that is the Resorts World Manila and Solaire are in a very small section of the entire country, which is the city of Manila and Paranaque, while e-games are in every island.”
The demographics of Philweb players are much different than casino gamblers in the country, explains Valdes, with a mostly male market age 25-45.
“We are the 7-Eleven of gaming,” Valdes said. “It’s your corner convenience store.”
In addition to the Philippines, Valdes says Philweb is considering expansion into other Asian countries.
“Asia in general is booming,” he said. “We are looking at Thailand, Myanmar, Palau, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Mongolia as new areas of opportunity.”
It is unclear, however, if Philweb plans to enter the online gaming market where players log on from their home computers.