Philippines’ operators get online casino licences

Pagor has confirmed that more operators have been granted online licences
Pagor has confirmed that more operators have been granted online licences

PAGCOR has confirmed that three companies in Manila and one in Subic Bay have been granted PIGO licences.

The Philippines.- Three operators in Manila have been granted licences to develop online casino platforms.

Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (PAGCOR) chair Andrea Domingo, said during an AGBrief interview that three of Manila’s gaming resorts had been approved to offer online services to local gaming firms under Philippine Inland Gaming Operator (PIGO) licences.

Until recently, the Philippines only allowed Philippine offshore gambling operators (POGOs) to offer online gaming to customers oversees. However, many left the country during the Covid-19 pandemic after being told to settle tax debts before restarting operations.

This left PAGCOR searching for alternative sources of income, like taxing streaming transmissions of online sabong events from legal cockpits.

Now, the regulator is entering the online casino services arena. Gaming technology firm DFNN had already told the media it had received approval to develop a VIP-only online gaming platform.

Now Domingo has confirmed that Solaire Resort and Casino, Okada Manila, and City of Dreams Manila have also received PIGO licences, along with an operator in Subic Bay. They can begin to offer services by the end of December or early next year.

Domingo said that PIGO services would be aimed at VIP players already on the authorities’ player database. Players must be Philippine residents and will need to deposit funds at the land-based casino to be identified using face recognition technology.

PAGCOR has no estimates on how much tax income this move will bring in. There will be a 25 per cent tax on gross gaming revenue (GGR) and a 5 per cent franchise tax payable to the country’s Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).

The PIGO licence fee is Php100,000 (US$2,000), GGRAsia reported.

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