By: Antonio Iñares – @inquirerdotnet
INQUIRER.net / 02:30 PM July 24, 2023
MANILA, Philippines — Pasay City was abuzz last Friday as Sigma held its Asia Summit at the SMX Center.
Endorsed by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., this year’s event featured a spectacular roster of B2B and B2C brands, along with land-based exhibitors, bridging the gap between Western networks and Asian suppliers, operators, and affiliates.
But what stole the limelight was the riveting speech by Katrina Ponce Enrile, chairman and CEO of the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA). In her address, Enrile laid out her vision and call to action for the organization, presenting CEZA as a beacon of growth, innovation, and opportunity in Southeast Asia.
CEZA: Gateway to Southeast Asia’s future
Presenting the numerous prospects that CEZA offers, Enrile shared the zone’s strategic advantages. With its prime geographical positioning on the northeastern tip of Luzon Island, CEZA offers unparalleled connectivity and accessibility to both local and international markets.
Moreover, its world-class infrastructure caters to a diverse array of industries, providing a nurturing environment for businesses to thrive. CEZA houses advanced IT facilities designed to support FinTech and IT activities, including Online Gaming, making it a hub for digital innovation.
A pioneer in interactive gaming
Enrile underscored CEZA’s leadership in regulating Interactive Gaming. Their framework and protocols are designed to scrutinize, select, and monitor legitimate Online Gaming companies, ensuring they add premium value to their licenses and uphold the reputation of the Gaming Industry.
CEZA’s mission, as outlined by Enrile, is to invigorate and safeguard the Online Gaming Industry in support of registered Casinos worldwide. She highlighted that their robust regulatory framework streamlines processes, eliminates bureaucratic red tape, and provides a seamless journey for licensees.
Promoting Trust and Confidence
CEZA’s approach to ensuring a secure environment for IT and FinTech companies, including Interactive Gaming, was a key point in Enrile’s speech. Their vetting process and comprehensive regulatory framework ensure only reputable operators access their jurisdiction, cultivating an environment of trust and protecting the interests of both operators and players alike.
Enrile also pledged CEZA’s commitment to protecting its licensees from unlawful forces and ensuring a safe and conducive operating environment.
The vision ahead
CEZA’s commitment to integrity, security, and regulation of Interactive Gaming was evident in Enrile’s address. She made it clear that CEZA would not tolerate illicit activities, and stringent safeguards are in place to prevent the gaming industry from becoming a conduit for money laundering or criminal activities.
She also introduced the concept of the Cagayan Special Economic Zone Freeport Security and Defense Plan, aimed at combating illegal gambling and smuggling that might jeopardize the interests of their licensees.
Addressing POGO issues
Enrile also tackled the complex issues surrounding Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (POGO) and the emergence of syndicates exploiting the online gaming sector. She spoke about the proactive steps CEZA is taking to rectify this situation, including integrating retired Generals from the CIDG and the First Scout Ranger Regiment to bolster their security forces.
A call to action
Enrile called on all visionary investors worldwide to seize the opportunities that await within CEZA’s borders. She urged stakeholders to work together to create an environment where progress and integrity flourish, promising a future where innovation and sound regulatory frameworks coexist.
The Sigma Asia Summit 2023 provided a platform for leaders like Enrile to share their visions for the future. Her compelling speech indeed positioned CEZA as a driving force in the evolution of the digital and gaming industries in Southeast Asia.