Senator calls for online gaming regulator

Philippine Senator Richard Gordon has called for the creation of a new regulator for online gaming in the country, leaving the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp to oversee land-based casinos.

The body, which would be known as the Philippine Online Gaming and Regulatory Authority (POGRA), will be better equipped to oversee the $250-billion industry using new technology, Gordon was cited as saying at a Senate hearing called to discuss allegations of attempted bribery by casino tycoon Jack Lam.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre, who was present during the hearing, agreed with Gordon’s proposal, saying “a dedicated online gambling regulator would help eliminate grey areas.”

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte called for online gaming to be abolished shortly after he took power last year throwing the industry into uncertainty. He has since backtracked and allowed Pagcor to issue more online gaming licenses, alongside First Cagayan, which had been the master licensor for online gaming in the country.