On shaky ground

Online gambling operators in the Philippines are facing a lack of clarity and regulatory confusion amid President Rodrigo Duterte’s clampdown on unlicensed sites Since coming to power in June last year, Duterte has caused no end of confusion for online gambling operators plying their trade in the country. Back in December, he announced plans to pull down the shutters on iGaming sites, claiming they had no positive impact on the economy. Days later he clarified his stance, saying it only applied to unlicensed, or illegal operators not paying statutory taxes. He then gave the green light to launch the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO) program, allowing the regulator to issue 35 licenses to iGaming businesses for the first time and in direct competition to existing online licensor First Cagayan.   Since then, Duterte has upped the ante on unlicensed sites with executive order EO 13. The order directs the Philippine National Police...

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