The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) announced that it will be taking legal action against 33 offshore gambling operators. According to Alejandro Tengco, PAGCOR’s chief executive officer and chair, the companies in question have failed to pay billions of pesos in fees.
Tengco noted that the 33 gambling companies include companies that have since departed from the Philippine gambling market. He noted that the collective sum owed by the licensees and ex-licensees sits at P2.02 (around $36 million in USD).
According to the PAGCOR, the operators in question received licenses during the previous administration. The regulator pointed out that they have not paid their license fees in over a year now, breaching the rules outlined in Section 4.C of the Philippines’ Offshore Gaming Regulatory Manual.
Tengco noted that the operators failed to pay their dues despite receiving reminders and warnings from the PAGCOR.
The regulator’s decision to take legal action against the violators comes two weeks after the publishing of the new rules for online licensees. The PAGCOR put all companies under “probationary status,” requiring them to re-apply for a license.
PAGCOR Will Hold All Companies Accountable
The PAGCOR announced that three of the offshore gaming operators were billed as of May 2023. Another two, meanwhile, were endorsed to PAGCOR’s Legal Group in February 2023, the regulator added.
The Philippine regulatory body also confirmed that 5 of the operators it is taking legal action against no longer operate in the country. Some of these companies were granted licenses during the previous administrations but were forced to shut down their operations during the pandemic, Tengco explained.
Despite that, the companies will still be held accountable for their violation of Philippine laws, the PAGCO CEO warned. He promised that to make sure the offenders pay back the money they withheld.
Tengco addressed the matter, saying that the situation duty-binds the PAGCOR to take a legal course of action. He noted that the regulator is currently gathering pertinent information and will file appropriate cases against them.
The CEO vowed to make sure that all of the licensed offshore operators play by the rules.
PAGCOR will continue to ensure that all our regulated gaming entities – including offshore gaming operators and service providers – will abide by our regulatory policies, including proper payment of fees and taxes.
Alejandro Tengco, chair & CEO, PAGCOR
The announcement follows the reveal of PAGCOR’s plans for rebrand and privatization of dozens of Philippine casinos.