The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) is rolling out a new set of licensing regulators for foreign facing operators based in the Philippines and abroad.
If the new regulation scheme works out, President Robert Duterte’s government will be able to enjoy all the tax revenue that online gambling generates, without the actual online gambling.
Under the new plan, which was rolled out this week by PAGCOR boss Andrea Domingo, operators can shell out $50,000 for an e-casino application and $40,000 for a sports betting application. If the application is approved, the operator must then pony up another $150,000 for an actual e-casino license or $200,000 for a sports betting license.
Domingo and her cronies at PAGCOR aren’t hiding the fact that the offshore online gambling plan is being put in place to generate tax revenue to replace the revenue that was lost when PAGCOR yanked the licenses of hundreds of domestic online gambling and e-cafe operators.
But before you go thinking that the Duterte’s minions have gone all soft on the online gambling business, you might want to read the fine details of the plan.
Under the new regulations, operators are prohibited from serving citizens of the Philippine Islands, no matter where they reside. Furthermore, online gambling operators are also prohibited from serving customers in any country where online gambling is currently prohibited. Unfortunately, that clause prohibits a huge portion any operator’s potential customer pool from playing without jeopardizing the casino or sportsbook’s license.
PAGCOR has promised that they’ll be strictly enforcing the new regulations and there’s no reason to doubt that they won’t. The interesting thing now is to see whether anyone will actually take PAGCOR up on its offer.