The state-operated PAGCor which stands for the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation has issued new gaming licenses to two online gaming operators just several days after the regulator implemented a temporary freeze on issuing new gaming certifications. According to one report, this move was revealed by the regulator’s department and its senior officials including Victor Padilla.
During a meeting that took place on Friday at the regulator’s House of Representatives, PAGCor has issued gaming certifications to some sixty POGO or offshore gaming operators even though only forty-eight of them are active currently. In its official press release, the regulator’s officials also revealed that three companies are still waiting for their official applications to be approved.
When it comes to the newest online gaming licensed issued by the regulator, it seems that these two gaming operators have already been in this club even though Mr. Padilla shared no specific details and information regarding the identities of these newly-approved online gaming operators. He also did not reveal the identity of the third company which applied for its license.
Temporary Freeze on Issuing New Gaming Licenses
Before this move, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation decided to put a temporary freeze on issuing new online gaming licenses after its neighbor China urged it to ban all iGaming activities altogether. This news came shortly before a planned meeting between the two nations’ leaders.
As it was reported, China has urged the Philippines several times to place bans on all types of gambling activities including iGaming activities offered by fully regulated and licensed online gaming operators that serve customers from China. This appeal was made by the country’s foreign ministry Geng Shuang during a press conference that took place just several days after the Philippines announced that the country’s gaming regulator had temporarily stopped granting Philippine Offshore Gaming licenses.
As previously mentioned, before this move, the country’s gaming regulator had already granted almost sixty gaming licenses of this kind. It also accumulated more than $51 million of profit from these offshore gaming licenses in just six months. This represents around seven percent of the regulator’s half-year income. Despite these profitable pursuits, Beijing believes that these kinds of offshore enterprises active in the Philippines illegally target players from China.
Moreover, Chinese officials also expressed their concerns on the provision of proxy betting in that customers utilize mobile phones or live streaming to wager real money in real-time at brick and mortar casinos. At the same time, Mr. Padilla said to legislators that the country’s provision of offshore gaming licenses prohibits online gaming operators from offering their services including streaming in any country that specifically prohibits iGaming.
Beijing Still Urging the Philippines to Ban Online Gambling
Despite Mr. Padilla explaining to legislators what happens with offshore gaming licenses and what they prohibit, Beijing is not impressed as the country’s foreign ministry Geng Shuang still insists on the Philippines placing a ban on all iGaming activities.
As he revealed publicly, he hopes that the two nations can successfully tackle all sorts of online gaming-related criminal activities and his opinion is that this can happen only if the Philippines’ regulator bans these activities altogether. One country which has already followed these steps as proposed by the Chinese regulator is Cambodia that just recently announced the news about putting a freeze on granting and renewing online gambling licenses.