Philippines Stock Exchange approved the joint venture between The Manila Jockey Club Inc. (MJCI) and GMA New Media Inc. (NMI) to develop a platform for live online sportsbooks in Philippines, to provide solutions for internet and mobile gamblers to bet on live horse racing and other live sporting event. The venture between two digital media powerhouses, signals a positive move forward in the Philippines online gambling industry.
South East Asia, always considered as lagging behind the rest of Asia in technology, is signaling a bald move into uncharted territory with this forceful push into this growing market. Mr. Judd Gallers, President and COO of NMI, stated that the new joint venture will “finally allow people to bet online through the revolutionary platform by the middle of 2011 and enjoy betting on live sporting events from the comforts of their personal home computers or their mobile phones.”
Horse-racing, known in the past as the sport of royalty and the elite has since become popular with the local masses and its introduction to the digital age of betting is a wise move, according to industry analysts. Philippines has one of the world’s highest number of mobile phones per capita, more than the United States, so such a move is likely to be viewed favorably by investors in both companies, and supported by Philippines gambling laws.
CEO Felipe Gozon, of NMI, stated during the press conference, that it is important for gamblers to “feel the convenience” of betting on live events and that “mobile productivity and new multimedia tools” have finally allowed the industry to move forward. Mr. Gozon reiterated that the new joint venture will not only allow betting enthusiasts to gamble at online casinos in Philippines on horse racing but other popular live sporting events as well, including cockfighting.