Senator Francis Escudero has now questioned the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation’s (Pagcor) authority over online gambling, as reported by the Manila Times. He claims that it is still unclear who regulates online gambling in the Philippines. The senator was of the opinion that Pagcor’s role in online gambling requires correct interpretation of the law, which will provide a clearer picture. Currently, 35 licenses have been issued to online gambling operators. Pagcor’s role is likely to be made clear via a case which is pending in the Supreme Court.
Senator Ecudero said that any ambiguity on Pagcor’s role must be sorted out so that any loopholes in revenues from offshore gaming can be fixed. The senator also pointed out that when Pagcor was created, online gambling was not included due to the lack of awareness. Its charter was only for the regulation of territorial and land-based casinos and not online casinos. Only the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone, Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA), and Freeport Authority (APECO)had included online gambling in their charter.