Gambling Legislation

“Massive overhaul” of gaming regulations in the Philippines in the works

The gaming regulator of the Philippines plans on pushing for online poker and slots

Alejandro Tengco, the President and CEO of PAGCOR (the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp), shed light on sweeping alterations that are set to revolutionize the gaming landscape in the Philippines. These transformative changes encompass the implementation of a well-regulated online poker scene and enhanced regulations for online slots. Achieving this is integral to their ambitious vision of establishing the Philippines as a coveted gambling hub in Asia.

During the G2E Asia conference held in Macau on Thursday, Tengco, the keynote speaker, expressed his aspirations to enhance the regulator’s jurisdiction. Previously, PAGCOR had already bestowed rights encompassing brick-and-mortar casinos, traditional bingo, eBingo, eCasino games, sports betting, eBilliards and various other activities.

“For this year and beyond, PAGCOR intends to bring regulatory frameworks for online poker operations, enhance slot machine operations, upgrade gaming equipment and create and upgrade [existing] regulatory frameworks,” he said.

In 2016, when the POGO (Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator) office was established, and even during the challenging times of the COVID pandemic when the national PIGO (Philippine Inland Gaming Operator) office came to fruition, Tengco emphasized the importance for PAGCOR to continually update its policies in order to fully embrace the emerging prospects offered by the global and online realms. POGOs, currently the subject of a lot of controversy linked to human trafficking and other illegal activity, are operators in the country that offer online casinos outside the Philippines’ borders, while PIGOs focus on domestic gaming.

According to Tengco, PAGCOR has already taken various measures, including but not limited to revising the supplier manual, enforcing guidelines for setting up establishments, and creating protocols pertaining to gaming rights and access limitations.

Tengco emphasized the necessity for PAGCOR to deter individuals engaged in unlawful deeds and lacking moral integrity. In this regard, PAGCOR is firmly dedicated to establishing a comprehensive managerial framework that is “more responsive to the needs of the changing times.”

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