In the Philippines and officials in Makati City have reportedly instituted a moratorium on the issuing of new online casino licenses due to concerns over rising criminality and the availability of office space.
According to a report from the Bloomberg news service, the metropolitan Manila community serves as the nation’s main business hub but has also been struggling to accommodate the thousands of foreign workers employed by firms holding a Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO) license.
The news service cited Makati City Mayor, Abby Binay, as detailing that her municipality is home to as many as 300 online gaming firms that annually contribute approximately $3.9 million in local taxes. However, she purportedly explained that this state of affairs has moreover engendered a sharp rise in the cost of appropriate office space and left many POGO-licensed enterprises struggling to provide suitable accommodation for their largely Chinese workforces.
Binay reportedly told Bloomberg…
“This puts the local property sector at risk of overheating where its growth becomes unsustainable.”
The 43-year-old mayor reportedly told the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper that her city is one of seven across metropolitan Manila that issue ‘letters of no objection’, which are a prerequisite before foreign iGaming firms can receive a POGO license from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCor) regulator. Binay purportedly stated that her office is to now stop signing off on such authorizations and intends to initiate a concerted campaign against illegal activities associated with online gambling.
Binay told the newspaper…
“We will no longer accept new applications for POGO service providers and will crack down hard against illegal activities that are catering to POGOs and their employees within Makati City.”