In the Philippines, officials from multiple state agencies are reportedly conducting a concerted crackdown against online gaming firms operating without a valid license and have raided some 170 such enterprises since the start of last year.
Campaign follows ‘mutual cooperation’ deals:
According to a report from the local BusinessMirror newspaper, the revelation came via a statement from Andrea Domingo (pictured), Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCor), and follows the signing of ‘mutual cooperation’ agreements between the regulator and various law enforcement bodies including the Philippine National Police, Bureau of Immigration and the National Bureau of Investigation.
Penalties include fines and deportation:
Domingo stated that iGaming firms found guilty violating the regulator’s Offshore Gaming Regulatory Manual by operating without a legitimate Philippine Online Gaming Operation (POGO) license could be heavily fined and even see their non-national employees deported.
Domingo’s statement reportedly read…
“Word of advice, therefore legalize your operations or face dire consequences.”
Domingo reportedly declared that PAGCor is moreover engaged in monitoring the 53 current holders of POGO licenses via its Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Department in order to ensure that these firms are adhering to all local and national laws and properly contributing the correct amount of tax.
The newspaper explained that all legitimate iGaming firms are charged a $200,000 licensing fee alongside processing duties worth up to $15,000. In addition, these operators are moreover required to establish a cash fund containing at least $250,000 that can be used to honor any outstanding prizes.
Third-party scrutiny on its way:
Domingo furthermore proclaimed that her agency is soon hoping to debut a new third-party auditing platform that is to monitor all POGO licensees in real-time in order to ensure fairness and the proper collection of tax revenues. She detailed that this innovation could double the just over $72 million the regulator collected in fees last year while helping it to stamp out illegal wagering on things such as cockfighting, collegiate sports and the prices of traded stocks.
Potential rise in license applications:
Jose Tria, Special Assistant for PAGCor, reportedly told the newspaper that the institution of this new monitoring system could also help the regulator to increase the number of POGO applications and see the agency to bring in an estimated $55.3 million in new revenues next year.