An oversight body for Clark in the Philippines, a place which is already a hub for land-based casino resorts, will “no longer process or approve the operation of any incoming” operators of gaming aimed at overseas customers, “even if” such operators “already have a licence from Pagcor”.
That is according to a statement attributed to Agnes Devanadera, Clark Development Corp president and chief executive. The statement was included in a Monday announcement issued by the country’s casino regulator, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor), referring to action against “illegal offshore gaming activities”.
Offshore gaming by holders of a Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO) licence has been a permitted activity in that nation, subject to conditions including payment of due taxes. The national authorities have however recently been taking enforcement action against licensed and unlicensed actors in that sector, for a variety of reasons.
The latest announcement followed a meeting on Friday of a newly-created Clark Security Advisory Council – of which Pagcor is a member – said to be “part of the interagency effort to curb all illegal offshore gaming activities within the Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga”.
Monday’s announcement said – citing lawyer Jessa Fernandez, a Pagcor assistant vice president for offshore gaming licensing – that the security advisory body would “impose stricter sanctions to all erring licensed offshore gaming operators and accredited service providers”.
Examples of infractions included anyone “found allowing other entities to use the licences or accreditation given to them”. They would “be subjected to a hefty penalty including the cancellation of their licences or accreditation,” said the statement.
The document also mentioned that the Clark Development Corp board had approved a recommendation of its management to halt processing of new lease or sub-lease applications by offshore gaming operators.
The notice said Pagcor had “four remaining accredited service providers and one licensed offshore gaming operator” inside the Clark Freeport Zone.
Prior to the launch of the Clark Security Advisory Council, Pagcor cancelled provisional accreditation of “Sun Valley Clark” as an offshore gaming hub within the Clark Freeport Zone, due to what Monday’s release said was “its failure to ensure a lawful and orderly conduct of offshore gaming by its occupants in its registered sites”.
Pagcor reiterated it had cancelled the accreditation of CGC Technologies, an offshore gaming service provider based in Pampanga, due to what it said was the firm being “embroiled in various allegations including credit card fraud, serious illegal detention, and human trafficking activities”.
In March, the regulator stated it had terminated the contract of a third-party auditor that had been responsible for auditing POGOs. It said the service provider was found to be “in default of its obligations” and to “have committed unlawful acts”
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