PAGCOR Approves iGaming Services Launch For 3 Land Based Casinos

PAGCOR Approves iGaming Services Launch For 3 Land Based Casinos May 4, 2021 May 4, 2021 Carolyn Dutton
 Industry May 4, 2021 by Carolyn Dutton

Philippine Amusement and Gaming CorpThe Philippines is one of the many countries in Asia that has been devastated by Asia.

Land based casinos in Manila have suffered significant financial losses in the last 15 months due to the COVID-19 lockdown. Some of the top land based casino operators in the Philippines have pushed for the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (PAGCOR) to grant them an iGaming license.

PAGCOR is one of the main gaming regulators in the Philippines. The gaming regulator recently confirmed that it has authorized three iGaming licenses that will authorize operators to launch online casino games.

The three operators who have been given iGaming licenses include Travellers International Hotel Group Ltd which operates Resorts World Manila, Bloomberry Resorts Corp which runs the Solaire Resort and Casino and Japan’s Universal Entertainment Corp which runs Okada Manila through on of its subsidiaries in the Philippines.

There has been no official statement from PAGCOR at the time of this writing to confirm what kind of iGaming license these three operators were granted. However, local media report that the head of PAGCOR, Andrea Domingo has handed out a Philippine Inland Gaming Operator (PIGO) licence.

The PIGO license will allow these three operators to offer online casino games to domestic players in the Philippines. It does not authorize them to offer online casino games in international markets. Operators who intend to offer iGaming services to international markets will need to obtain a license as a Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO).

PAGCOR will allow these three iGaming operators to offer online slots and table games. However, there is no clarity if they will be able to offer live dealer casino games.

Mainland China Threat Hangs Over PAGCOR

One of the reasons why PAGCOR could be reluctant to grant casino operators a POGO license is because Mainland China has sent a strong message to countries who harbour iGaming operators that target residents in Mainland China where all forms of gambling are illegal.

China has launched a crackdown on illegal iGaming operators that target millions of Chinese by luring them to gambling online. China has informed all neighbouring countries that if they determine that they were encouraging these illegal iGaming operators, they would be blacklisted as a tourism destination.

The Philippines is taking precautions to ensure that it does not upset China as Chinese visitors make up a big percentage of international tourists to the Philippines.

Carolyn is our legislation expert, with a background in law she is able to cover the current state of gambling around the world