The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor), the nation’s gaming regulator, says all licensees and service providers linked to offshore gaming operations in the country will have until September 17 to reapply for licences.
Alejandro Tengco, chairman and chief executive of Pagcor, had mentioned in July plans to require Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) to reapply for their licences. The sector has recently been under scrutiny amid allegations that some licensees had been associated with criminal activity.
During a Philippines’ Senate committee hearing on Wednesday (pictured), Pagcor’s assistant vice president for offshore gaming licensing, Jessa Fernandez, stated that all licensees and service providers “were declared under probationary status,” and were directed to reapply for their licences up to September 17, 2023.
“In the present framework, all service providers who are accepting bets are required to apply for a licence. We will also evaluate the beneficial owners of these companies so that they will be held liable in case they are found to be involved in any illegal activity,” she said, according to a Wednesday press release by Pagcor.
“Entities with findings of activities outside their granted licence or accreditation will not be granted a licence under the new framework,” Ms Fernandez added. “Likewise, licensees or service providers who shall not reapply or were granted licence within the given period shall be endorsed for cancellation.”
Pagcor has introduced a new regulatory framework for offshore gaming licensees with effect from July.
According to the new framework, offshore operators are required to have an authorised capital stock of at least PHP100 million (US$1.8 million), of which PHP25 million should be paid up. Previously, the minimum capital was PHP15 million, of which PHP3 million had to be paid up.
Licences shall be valid for two years. There is also a PHP100,000 licence application fee, compared to varying fees previously.
During Wednesday’s meeting, Ms Fernandez also said that Pagcor had been working closely with other government and law enforcement agencies to set up offices inside an accredited hub for offshore gaming operators.
The changes to the framework have imposed “stricter sanctions on all erring licensed offshore gaming operators and accredited service providers,” said Pagcor in its release.
In June, the Philippines’ Finance Secretary, Benjamin Diokno, said the country should get rid of POGOs, given the social costs of keeping those companies operating, despite a possible shortfall in annual revenue collections.
Oct 01, 2023Macau’s September casino gross gaming revenue (GGR) fell by 13.2 percent month-on-month, to MOP14.94 billion (US$1.85 billion), according to a Sunday announcement from the local regulator, the...
”The Philippines has been the primary growth driver, but really the broader Asian gaming industry is something that’s really important to us”
Chief executive of casino equipment provider Light & Wonder