State-owned gaming regulator the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor) says it has received a total of 76 bids for offshore gaming licences since it started accepting applications in mid-September. The head of Pagcor, Andrea Domingo, said the body expects to award licences starting from this month, reported local media outlet Business World.
Pagcor will initially grant 25 licences for offshore gaming operations under the new rules and regulations for Philippine offshore gaming operations approved last month. The licences will be valid for one year, said Ms Domingo.
“It [the licence] will last for a year and they [licensees] know that we might be changing the rules and regulations after that,” Ms Domingo said as quoted by Business World. She added that the first three to six months after granting the licences would allow Pagcor time to assess the operation of the licensees.
The licence covers e-Casinos – offering products based either on a random number generator device or on live-dealer games – and sports betting. The service provider would be referred to as a Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO).
Application and processing fees for such offshore gaming licences would amount to US$50,000 for an e-Casino licence and US$40,000 for a sports betting permit. Upon approval, the applicant would be required to pay US$200,000 for an e-Casino licence and US$150,000 for a sports betting licence.
Pagcor had previously said it wished to raise fresh funds by issuing online gaming licences for services that targeted overseas players, in a bid to offset a loss of revenue from domestic online gambling businesses that have recently either been told to close or that have been given notice to cease operations.
On Monday, in a meeting of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Games and Amusements, Ms Domingo said Pagcor would have a new manual for the regulation of gaming operations to tackle the proliferation of online gambling operations without eroding further its revenues, reported Business World. The head of Pagcor did not disclose any details regarding new regulations.
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Lionel Leong Vai Tac
Macau’s Secretary for Economy and Finance