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Angel Hristov August 3, 2023 3 min read
PAGCOR Outlines New Rules for Offshore Licensees
Companies are getting declared “under probationary status” and will have to reapply for a license
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), a government-owned body that regulates gambling in the country, has unveiled a new regulatory framework for licensed offshore gaming companies.
The publication of the new framework is in line with the PAGCOR’s efforts to crack down on unlicensed gambling in the country.
According to Jessa Fernandez, PAGCOR’s assistant VP for offshore gaming licensing, all licensees and service providers were declared “under probationary status.” As a result, companies will have to reapply for a license by September 17.
The news comes two weeks after the government-owned agency confirmed the upcoming launch of an online casino brand.
The PAGCOR Will Not Reissue Licenses to Violators
Fernandez explained that the new framework seeks to force companies to reapply for a license so that the PAGCOR is able to reevaluate them. He warned that the PAGCOR will diligently check whether the licensees have been involved in illicit activities.
In the present framework, all Service Providers who are accepting bets are required to apply for a license. 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.Jessa Fernandez, assistant VP for offshore gaming licensing, PAGCOR
Should the PAGCOR find a company guilty of operating services outside of its granted license or accreditation, the regulator will not reissue a new license.
Likewise, licensees or service providers who shall not re-apply or were granted license within the given period shall be endorsed for cancellation.Jessa Fernandez, assistant VP for offshore gaming licensing, PAGCOR
The PAGCOR Seeks to Change How Gaming Is Regulated
In addition to implementing a new regulatory framework for foreign companies, the PAGCOR has been also working together with other governments and law enforcement agencies to set up offices inside and accredited hub, Fernandez said.
Furthermore, the regulator introduced stricter sanctions for offshore companies that violate the obligations outlined in their licenses.
Overall, the Philippine regulator introduced stricter inspection and verification of compliance for foreign operators and service providers and submission of reports to government agencies for investigation and verification of findings.
The reforms also envision enhanced coordination between the PAGCOR and other government agencies. Finally, the authority plans to impose heavy penalties on companies that breach the existing regulations.
In other news, the PAGCOR recently launched an upgrade program to improve its gaming venues ahead of the privatization of self-operated casinos.