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Pagcor Pledges Offshore Bet Integrity Amid Call for POGO Ban

April 3, 2023 Philippines Industry Updates

The Philippine gaming regulator has reiterated its “firm commitment to uphold the integrity of the gaming industry in the Philippines, including offshore gaming”. The statement was issued on Thursday, after senator’s call for the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO) sector to be shut down within three months.

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate’s Committee on Ways and Means, had recently urged the prompt closure of POGOs. He cited lack of benefit to the wider domestic economy, outstanding tax liabilities of some operators, and concerns about social harm from “criminal influence” associated with the trade.

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor) did not specifically address the demand for shutdown in its Thursday press release.

But it said: “Pagcor reassures the public that to maintain the integrity of regulated gaming in the country, the state-run firm will not hesitate to impose appropriate sanctions or penalties to erring licensees or service providers.”

The body added: “We will ensure that all revenues from regulated gaming will continue to support the government’s nation-building efforts and uplift the lives of Filipinos.”

In early March, Pagcor stated it had terminated the contract of a third-party auditor that had been responsible for auditing POGOs. It said the service provider was found to be “in default of its obligations” and to “have committed unlawful acts”.

Thursday’s statement from the regulator noted: “Pagcor is now in the process of engaging a capable and reputable third-party auditor who can independently and accurately conduct verification of the offshore gaming licensees’ gross gaming revenues.”

The press release noted that the outgoing auditor, Global ComRCI, had been served with notice of termination on March 9, and that it would be effective 30 days from the time of receipt.

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