Lawmakers in the Philippines are questioning whether the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) actually has the authority to license offshore facing casinos and sportbooks.

Earlier this week, Sen. Francis Escudero wondered aloud whether that particular authority should rest with the Clark Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) and the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport (APECO).  These were the groups that issued the licenses before the authoritarian regime of Rodrigo Duterte took power in the country last year.

Since Duterte took over, PAGCOR’s core mission of regulating Philippines-based gaming has been supplanted with whatever the strongman’s whim is on a particular day. That is not sitting well with lawmakers who say that PAGCOR is not equipped for the job of regulating online gambling in the first place.

According to a report on CalvinAyre.com, PACGOR has issued 35 such license in the past six months.

The fact that PAGCOR is issuing online gaming licenses of any kind is a bit of a surprise to anyone who has been following events in the Philippines over the past year or so.

After all, just last summer Duterte declared war on online gambling and ordered PAGCOR to stop issuing license of any kind. That order was backpedaled almost immediately when it became clear that the Philippine Government would be taking a major revenue hit without the money generated by online gambling.

PAGCOR officials maintain that offshore licensing is very much part of their authority, as are all games of chance that emanate from the island nation.

 


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