Pagcor issues 35 licenses to start offshore gaming
Pagcor said the introduction of offshore gaming was “meant to safeguard the welfare of the Filipinos at the same time meet the agency’s revenue targets to help fund the government’s nation-building programs. The licensees are called the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (Pogo).

Pagcor issues 35 licenses to start offshore gaming

Iris Gonzales (The Philippine Star) - December 2, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) has issued about 35 offshore gaming licenses as part of the initial roll-out of the Duterte administration’s newly created gaming regime.

The information came from several gaming industry sources, some of whom obtained licenses and others who did not apply.

A source said what remains to be seen is how many of these licensees would actually operate their respective offshore gaming entities.

Officials of the state-run gaming regulator were not immediately available for comment.

The licenses were made available to Philippine-based operators or those with duly constituted business enterprises organized in the Philippines, and offshore-based operators or those whose business enterprises were organized in a foreign country and will engage the services of a Pagcor-accredited service or provider for its online gaming activities.

Last September, Pagcor announced it would allow offshore gaming to curtail the proliferation of electronic gaming and to help offset the revenue losses as a result of the shutdown of the e-games network of PhilWeb Corp. and some e-bingo sites found to be violating the regulator’s distance requirement which is to be far from schools or churches.

Pagcor said the introduction of offshore gaming was “meant to safeguard the welfare of the Filipinos at the same time meet the agency’s revenue targets to help fund the government’s nation-building programs.

The licensees are called the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (Pogo).

From each licensee, Pagcor charged application and processing fees of $50,000 for e-casino and $40,000 for sports betting, and another $200,000 and $150,000, respectively, upon approval of the license.

Offshore gaming will be conducted via internet using a network and software to be offered exclusively to offshore authorized players who have registered and established an online gaming account with the licensee.

Only foreigners based in another country will be authorized players, according to Pagcor.

Foreign nationals staying in the Philippines and Filipinos residing abroad are not allowed to take part in the online gaming activity, Pagcor said.

To ensure strict compliance with these requirements, including the age restrictions, licensees have to make sure all the players are accredited by an agent, another source explained.

Pagcor will monitor compliance of all licensees, it also said.

The gaming regulator said an offshore gaming license is a non-transferrable privilege and not a vested right and may be suspended or cancelled at any time if the licensee commits an offense against Philippine anti-gambling laws or violates any condition attached to the license.

Pagcor initially said it would cap to 25 the number of Pogo applicants for the first six months of operations to be able to study the process thoroughly.

OFFSHORE GAMING LICENSES PHILIPPINE AMUSEMENT AND GAMING CORP
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