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PAGCOR claims offshore gaming licences a...

PAGCOR claims offshore gaming licences are legal

Published on December 12, 2016

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) asserted its authority over the right to regulate offshore online gaming.

PAGCOR issued a statement saying that its move to grant a new type of license called Philippine Online Gaming Operation (POGO) was “within the bounds of its charter” which allowed it to “operate, authorise and license games of chance, games of cards and games of numbers” in the Philippines.

“Gaming or gambling, as defined, is a game of scheme, whether upon chance or skills wherein wagers consisting of money or articles of value or representative of value are made,” said PAGCOR and added that the location of the player (whether in the Philippines or overseas) was irrelevant.

„As long as the game is produced and its operation managed within the Philippine territory, it falls within PAGCOR’s jurisdiction,” claims PAGCOR in the statement. “The POGO rules were issued to regulate online gaming being produced in the Philippines despite being streamed abroad.”

The statement was issued as a reaction to the challenge filed by the local anti-corruption advocates at the Union for National Development and Good Governance-Philippines (UNLAD). The petition before the Supreme Court aimed to nullify the regulation that allowed PAGCOR to issue offshore gaming licences. The first 35 licences were already awarded last week.

UNLAD claimed that PAGCOR does not have the authority to regulate online operators offering services to gamblers outside the Philippines. PAGCOR contradicted the statement and also challenged UNLAD to provide information on who should be responsible for this sector.

“If we are to agree with their proposition that PAGCOR is bereft of regulatory authority over these online gaming operators, then who has the authority to regulate online games in the Philippines?” PAGCOR asked in the statement.