The state-run Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCor) regulator has reportedly issued licenses to a pair of online gaming operators less than a week after implementing a temporary freeze on the processing of new certifications.
According to a report, the move was announced by a senior official with the regulator’s licensing department, Victor Padilla, during a Friday meeting of the House of Representatives’ Appropriations Committee and means that PAGCor has now handed out some 60 Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO) certifications although only 48 of these are known to be active.
After detailing the interim halt on Tuesday, PAGCor purportedly explained that there were a trio firms who were still waiting to have their POGO licenses approved. CalvinAyre.com reported that the two newest licensees seem to have been members of this club although Padilla was said to have given no specific information as to the identities of these newly-certified operators or detailed what had become of the mysterious third candidate’s application.
The Philippines decided to stop granting new iGaming licenses after coming under pressure from China due to Beijing’s belief that such enterprises were illegally targeting players in the planet’s most populated nation. Chinese officials are purportedly especially troubled by the provision of so-called ‘proxy betting’ in which punters utilize live streaming or mobile telephones in order to gamble in real time at land-based casinos.
However, Padilla told legislators that the provisions of a POGO license prohibit iGaming operators from streaming ‘in any country which prohibits online gambling’ and that it is often ‘not automatic’ that Chinese players are always accessing certified sites from locations within China.
But, explanations such as this reportedly do not impress Beijing as last week saw Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang urge the Philippines to ‘ban all online gambling’ so that the two nations can ‘jointly tackle criminal activities including online gambling and cyber fraud.’ This plea came in advance of a planned summit between the leaders of the two countries later this week and moreover contained an acclamation of Cambodia, which recently pronounced that it is to stop issuing or renewing its own online gambling licenses.