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PAGCOR Affirms POGOs’ Permanence and Seeks New Auditor

March 31, 2023 Philippines Industry Updates

PAGCOR, the gaming authority in the Philippines, has defied calls to shut down the POGO (Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators) sector once more by announcing that it is searching for a new third-party auditor to verify that registered operators are paying their license fees and taxes.

In reaction to Sherwin Gatchalian, the chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee and a well-known POGO foe, who called for the closure of all online gambling companies within three months last week, the agency released a statement on Thursday. Gatchalian also brought out the fact that there was no independent auditor in place to keep track of POGO revenue after PAGCOR terminated Global ComRCI’s license for making false statements.

In a statement, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) reaffirmed its steadfast commitment to upholding the integrity of the Philippine gaming industry, including offshore gaming.

“PAGCOR is currently hiring a qualified and reliable third-party auditor who can properly and impartially verify the total gaming revenues of the offshore gaming licensees.

“Moreover, PAGCOR guarantees the public that the state-run company will not hesitate to implement appropriate fines or penalties on infraction-prone licensees or service providers in order to protect the integrity of regulated gambling in the nation. We will make sure that all proceeds from legalized gambling continue to aid the government in strengthening the country and improving the lives of Filipinos.

Although PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Alejandro Tengco earlier said he would have no qualms shutting the industry down if he believed it essential, this is the second time PAGCOR has made a public declaration in favour of its POGO industry in 2023 alone.

One of the issues cited by Senator Gatchalian is that POGOs have not delivered the economic benefits promised, have increased crime, and have harmed relations between the Philippines and China’s mainland.

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