PAGCOR CLAIMS AUTHORITY TO LICENSE OFFSHORE ONLINE GAMBLING ACTIVITY (Update)
Philippines regulator responds to legal challenge by Union for National Development and Good Governance- Philippines.
Philippines regulatory body Pagcor has reacted to the legal challenge in the Philippines Supreme Court from the activist group Union for National Development and Good Governance- Philippines questioning its licensing and other powers
In a statement, Pagcor said its initiative to grant a new type of license titled the Philippine Online Gaming Operation (Pogo) license was “within the bounds of its charter” which authorized it to “operate, authorize and license games of chance, games of cards and games of numbers” in the Philippines.
Interestingly, the regulator took a different tack to the UK, where the online punter's device is regarded as the point of consumption, claiming that in the Philippines the location of the offshore player is immaterial.
“As long as the game is produced and its operation managed within the Philippine territory, it falls within Pagcor’s jurisdiction,” it said. “The Pogo rules were issued to regulate online gaming being produced in the Philippines despite being streamed abroad.”
Our readers will recall that Pogo licensees operating from the Philippines under the latest regulations are not permitted to offer their services to Filipinos.
The Union for National Development and Good Governance- Philippines has asked the Supreme Court to nullify the regulation that allows Pagcor to issue offshore gaming licenses, requiring the regulator to immediately halt the process, through which it is understood 35 licenses have already been issued.
The activist group claims that Pagcor's mandate does not allow it to issue licenses for activity occurring outside the territorial Philippines jurisdiction.
"If we are to agree with their proposition that Pagcor is bereft of regulatory authority over these online gaming operators, then who has the authority to regulate online games in the Philippines?” the Pagcor statement Friday asked.
“Would it be the recipient countries or the Philippine economic zones granted by law to issue gaming licenses who should regulate? Following their own argument, the recipient countries and economic zones, obviously cannot exercise their authorities outside of their own territorial jurisdictions.”
The Pagcor statement revealed that the regulator has already delivered almost P1 billion to the state Treasury in application and processing fees from Pogo…and that does not include the taxation flowing from licensed operators.