Philippines Gaming and Amusement Corp Chair Andrea Domingo said the regulator is planning to greatly expand its program to license offshore online gaming licenses now it is comfortable it is able to properly monitor and regulate activities.
The online regulator began issuing licenses to Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (Pogo) late last year, with an initial 35 licenses given out on a trial basis.
“Now we are reasonably confident that with our independent third party audit services and the probity checkers we can handle all of those who are applying,” she said at a press conference at the ASEAN Gaming Summit. “Pagcor has approved the acceptance of applications and we should be issuing new licenses by the first or second week of April.”
Domingo said Pagcor has received about 78 applications, though it will favor quality over quantity when it comes to awarding the licenses.
“I think many of those who have been applying to us in this regard do appreciate the fact that we are trying to create a better image of the Philippines in the world by telling them that now we are going to have professional management and there won’t be any criminal activities that can be done in our casinos and in our online gaming stations.”
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte threw the country’s online market into disarray when he took power last year, announcing a crusade against online gambling sites, only to later clarify his stance saying his comments were only aimed at illegal operators, who weren’t paying taxes.
He subsequently gave the green light to Pagcor to begin issuing online licenses, creating confusion as the how the permits will work alongside existing licensor First Cagayan.