Lawmaker questions Pagcor’s authority

Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor)’s authority over online gambling has been pulled into another round of questioning by Sen. Francis Escudero.

According to the Manila Times, the senator noted at a news forum last week that there is no clear policy on who is regulating online gambling in the country.

Escudero said it was “a question of correct interpretation of the law” when it comes to Pagcor’s role in online gambling which will need to be decided upon.

The gaming regulator, which recently gave out 35 licenses to online gaming operators, is due to have this question answered through a pending case in the Supreme Court.

“We need to address this issue so we can finally plug the loopholes in foregone revenues from offshore gaming and put to rest the issue of the legality or illegality of its operation in the country” said Escudero.

When Pagcor was created by Presidential Decree No. 1602, its charter was territorial and land-based only, he said. Internet or online gambling was not included because nobody was aware of it at that time, and only Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) and Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Authority (APECO) had online gaming included in its charter, he explained.