188BET Transitions Operations to the Philippines

188BET, a leading online gambling operator, has decided to transition its operations from the Isle of Man back to the Philippines, marking a significant shift in its licensing jurisdiction. This change was communicated to players in a Friday email, detailing the transition to a new Philippine-based entity, BestCommerce Corporation, which will now oversee 188BET’s operations under the regulation of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (PAGCOR).

This decision allows 188BET to adapt its services to comply with PAGCOR’s regulations, including the minimum gambling age of 21. Players who do not meet this age requirement or prefer not to transition to the new licensing arrangement are offered the option to close their accounts and withdraw their funds.

Since acquiring its Isle of Man license in 2007, 188BET has been a pioneer among Asian bookmakers, initially establishing its corporate headquarters and a significant portion of its operations on the British island. However, the company had already begun to scale back its on-island activities, focusing its Douglas office on regulatory and compliance tasks while relocating operational staff to other regions.

The relocation of operational staff, initially from its Makati central business district office to the Isle of Man and now back to Asia, reflects 188BET’s strategic operational shifts over the years. According to sources close to the matter, the Isle of Man office is in the process of being closed, affecting over 100 staff members.

This move back to the Philippines is observed by some as a setback for the Isle of Man, a jurisdiction that has gained popularity among operators targeting pre-regulated markets. Meanwhile, PAGCOR has actively sought to entice companies with its revamped licensing framework, tax incentives, and new leadership. 188BET’s return to the Philippines is seen as an endorsement of the country’s regulatory environment and its efforts to attract major players in the gambling industry.

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