Capturing the online gaming market

Not all industries are suffering from the series of COVID-19 lockdowns. One of the few businesses that have thrived despite the community quarantine protocols is online gaming. While social distancing restrictions continue to be implemented, consumers have been flocking to the internet in search of entertainment.

Attesting to this recent trend is Inter-Active Entertainment Solutions Technologies Inc. (IEST), the country’s first licensed Philippine Inland Gaming Operator (PIGO). A subsidiary of listed firm DFNN Inc., IEST was issued its PIGO license by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) in 2020., IEST’s domestic gaming platform, has experienced a steady rise in its gross gaming revenue (GGR) since its launch last November. In the first three quarters of 2021, InPlay’s GGR reached P269.3 million as the pandemic sparked a boom in online gaming. Gross bets surged to P6 billion during the first nine months of the year on account of a hefty 64.6% rise in the third quarter, when GGR also recorded a 60.8% increase.

Aside from InPlay, IEST also holds other Pagcor licenses for a sports betting exchange, e-gaming machines, and pari-mutuel games. DFNN Investor Relations Officer Abigail Garcia said InPlay’s performance is projected to surpass the traditional gaming outlets as long as the various alert levels are imposed.


Meanwhile, another industry that has flourished during the ongoing pandemic is the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) business. As the cooking fuel of choice for most Filipino households, it has risen in demand due to the new norms of work from home and online classes – which resulted in more meals being cooked in residential areas.

Last Oct. 14, President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act No. 11592 otherwise known as the “LPG Industry Regulation Act of 2021.” RA 11592 is the consolidated version of Senate Bill No. 1955 and its counterpart bill in the House of Representatives filed by the LPG Marketers Association (LPGMA), a party-list group

Under this new law, LPG industry participants or LIPs are mandated to secure a license to operate from the Department of Energy (DOE) that is valid for three years or any period determined by the DOE. LIPs are likewise mandated to register with the DOE before they could construct terminals and refilling plants.

On the other hand, companies that will import, re-qualify, manufacture, or repair LPG pressure vessels must obtain applicable certificates from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). Both the DOE and the DTI are required to release the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) within 60 days of its effectivity.

Existing LIPs prior to the passage of RA 11592 have been given 180 days to comply with the requirements spelled out in the IRR. Penalties for violators shall range from P5,000 to P20,000 per day of operation without the required certificates of registration, licenses, and permits depending on the number of their offenses.

The passage of this law will ensure the safety of LPG consumers since bulk suppliers and refillers are now compelled to get the necessary documents to operate from the regulatory bodies.

J. Albert Gamboa is a Life Member of the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (FINEX). He is the Editor-in-Chief of the quarterly FINEX Digest magazine and the monthly FINEX Focus newsletter. The opinion expressed herein does not necessarily reflect the views of these institutions and the Manila Bulletin.

Source: Manila Bulletin (