The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) has opened its doors for online gaming that caters exclusively to foreigners, local media reports.
The regulator has announced it would start accepting letters of intent from applications interested in obtaining an offshore gaming license.
According to a press statement, Pagcor said an offshore gaming license may be granted to either a Philippine-based operator or an off-shore based operator organized in any foreign country who will engage the services of a Pagcor-accredited service/support provider for its online gaming activity.
They will be referred to as Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs).
Application and processing fees add up to $50,000 for online casino and $40,000 for sports betting.
Upon approval of the license, the applicant would be required to pay $200,000 for an online casino license and $150,000 for the sports betting license.
The regulator also noted that it will cap the number of POGO applicants at 25 for the first six months of implementation, in order to give Pagcor time to adjust to the process while ensuring each applicant is properly vetted.
Pagcor said the licenses would help “safeguard the welfare of the Filipinos at the same time meet the agency’s revenue targets to help fund the government’s nation-building programs.”
It has been made clear that players of these offshore gaming offerings must not be Philippine nationals or any foreigner in the Philippines. Likewise, any person under 21 will not be allowed to play.
The regulator added it has set up a monitoring task force called “Task Force POGO” to conduct surveillance and monitoring activities and report violations committed by POGOs.