Pagcor to license live dealer games for e-cafes

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp is to allow the country’s eGaming operators to add live dealer table games to their product offering.

In a statement posted on the Pagcor website, the regulator set out the accreditation process for live dealer studio and production facilities seeking to offer services to the gaming terminals of licensed electronic gaming sites.

Pagcor said the license will be known as a Permit to Possess and applies to providers of a studio gaming setup.

The cost of applying for the permit includes a PHP250,000 ($4,792) accreditation fee, valid for one year, with the renewal price set at the same level. The Permit to Possess costs PHP1 million, also valid for one year, with a PHP1 million renewal fee. The memorandum also sets out a variety of other fees connected with the license.

The content/streaming provider will be required to submit a certificate from a certified gaming laboratory that its product is blocked from any Philippine IP addresses other than those accredited by Pagcor.  

Although the Philippines is the only jurisdiction in Asia to regulate online gambling, local residents are only able to access such services through a series of e-cafes. In the past the offering at these venues has been limited to games such as e-bingo.

Last year, Pagcor also began offering Philippine Offshore Gambling Operator licenses, known as POGOs. Those licenses are only available to companies offering their services outside of the country.

Pagcor Chair Andrea Domingo says the regulator expects to double the revenue it receives from these online gaming licenses once a new audit platform is up and running.

Giving the keynote speech at the ASEAN Gaming Summit, Domingo said last year Pagcor earned PHP3.9 billion ($74.8 million) from POGOs. She said the low operating expenses associated with the licenses had generated a high level of profit.