Editor's Note: Philippines

17 November 2008

Some readers may have seen headlines in the Philippine press regarding the Philippine government's interest in investigating the Internet-gambling-related activities at the RCBC Tower in Makati City.

IGamingNews wishes to inform readers that it is actively investigating the level of threat, if any, such an investigation would pose to licensees of First Cagayan Leisure and Resort Corporation, which has hosting facilities in the RCBC Tower.

First Cagayan Leisure is the master I-gaming licensor for the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport, located at the northeastern tip of the Philippines.

IGN has solicited comment from First Cagayan Leisure's legal counsel on the matter, as well as from other First Cagayan Leisure licensees that are hosted at RCBC Tower.

Due to a scarcity of sound information on these developments -- most especially on the Philippine government's investigatory resolution -- IGN is awaiting word from sources until reporting further.

According to the Web site of the Philippine House of Representatives, the Committee on Gaming and Amusements held a hearing today on House Resolution 719, or "Investigation into the alleged unauthorized internet gaming operations being conducted in the RCBC Tower in Makati City."

That resolution was introduced on Aug. 8, 2008, by Cecilia M. Seares-Luna, a member of the Liberal Party representing the Lone District of Abra. A copy of the resolution was not available.

In a late September press release, Ms. Seares-Luna referenced "reports" of "unauthorized and rampant Internet gaming operations" at RCBC Tower.

She also expressed concern that the alleged activity was neither regulated by the government-run operator Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation nor subject to taxation.

In June, First Cagayan Leisure announced a joint venture with IPVG Corporation -- called First Cagayan Converge Data Center Inc. -- to establish a hosting facility in the special economic zone for its I-gaming licensees.

At this point, the number of First Cagayan Leisure licensees at RCBC Tower and First Cagayan Converge, respectively, is unknown.

More on these developments to come.

Chris Krafcik is the editor of IGamingNews. He lives in St. Louis, Mo.