The Philippines issued two more online gambling licenses this week, despite announcing a freeze on new applications
PAGCOR exec Victor Padilla announced that the regulator had issued two more Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO) licenses since announcing a freeze on new POGO applications earlier this week.
Senior manager at PAGCOR’s POGO licensing department, telling the country’s House of Representatives appropriations committee that the regulator now had 60 POGO licensees, up from 58 when PAGCOR announced its application freeze, although only 48 of these licensees are currently operational.
Padilla didn’t specify the companies whose licenses were approved. PAGCOR had three pending POGO applications when the freeze was announced, but Padilla also offered no insights as to whether the third application had been rejected or was simply awaiting approval.
Online gambling sector came under unprecedented diplomatic attack from China this month.
Not so, according to Padilla, apparently with a straight face – that PAGCOR’s regulations mean that POGOs “do not stream in any country which prohibits online gambling.” Padilla went on to claim that “it’s not automatic” that Chinese gamblers who patronize POGOs are actually residing in China, helpfully noting that “in [Chinese] culture, they like gambling.”
China’s government went one further this week by urging the Philippine government to “ban all online gambling,” because it was “a most dangerous tumor in modern society.”
The government spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the fate of the POGO industry would depend on what President Rodrigo Duterte chose to do following his meetings later this month with China’s President Xi Jinping.