Friday, May 31, 2024

E-sports group asks for gov’t support, says gaming not similar to gambling

An e-sports group told lawmakers in a congressional hearing on Thursday, Feb. 17, that e-sports and gaming industries should not be associated with gambling because majority of e-sports participants are minors.

Philippine ESports Organization executive secretary Jess Tamboboy
Photo from Congress

“One of the major things that would be the downfall of the further growth and development of e-sports is definitely the tie to gambling,” said Jess Tamboboy, executive secretary of the Philippine ESports Organization (PESO).  

The e-sports industry has long suffered from the misconception that gamers have done nothing but to play, sometimes for money or other financial rewards, according to the PESO official.

Tamboboy said that proper recognition, identification, and representation of the industry require government assistance, adding that more government collaboration and support is necessary for the e-sports industry, which can also benefit the country’s tourism industry.

AcadArena co-chief executive officer Ariane Lim said it is important to understand the profile of e-sports players. Demographics show that the players are typically between the ages of 16 and 24, which Lim describes as the age at which an individual is still developing his own identity.

She also emphasized that e-sports and gaming industries deal with passion, which should start early and be supported throughout the growing stage.

Tier One Entertainment associate vice-president Brian Dacanay, on the other hand, said that empowering the e-sports community must begin with market development and industry consolidation, considering the number of games in the e-sports industry.

The House Special Committee on Creative Industry and Performing Arts chaired by Pangasinan representative Christopher De Venecia held on online hearing to deliberate on House Resolution 2394.

The resolution seeks an inquiry, in aid of legislation, into the state of Philippine e-sports and other related industries. It also aims to promote e-sports as a creative industry and legitimate sport in the country.

De Venecia said the discussion could show how online games are potentially beneficial to the country, especially as part of the creative economy framework. He said the e-sports industry falls under the digital interactive media domain within the creative economy framework.

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