Gaming firms eye offshore licenses
Several gaming firms, including beleaguered Philweb Corp., are studying the possibility of vying for a license pitched by the state-owned Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) for an online gaming scheme that caters exclusively to overseas players.
“We are studying it at the moment,” Philweb president Dennis Valdes said in a text message Thursday.
Top officials of Pacific Online Systems Corp. (Loto), Leisure and Resorts World Corp. (LR) and DFNN Inc. are also assessing the new offering.
“We are evaluating the structure and the fees,” said Loto chair and president Willy Ocier, who is also a director at LR.
“I’m sure LR is studying its options carefully. I hope they’ll work out a cooperative agreement with Pagcor. Singapore and other jurisdictions are aiming for the offshore online gambling market as well,” Ocier said.
DFNN president Ramon Garcia Jr., for his part, said they were “continuously monitoring the regulatory environment and waiting for guidance on policies.”
Pagcor announced that it would start accepting letters of intent from applicants keen on acquiring an offshore gaming license.
Offshore gaming is conducted via the internet using a network and software to be offered exclusively to offshore authorized players who have registered and established an online gaming account with the licensee. Authorized players of these offshore gaming offerings must be foreigners based in another country aged 21 above. Foreign nationals who are staying in the Philippines and Filipinos residing abroad are not allowed to take part in the online gaming activity.
Application and processing fees for offshore gaming licenses amount to $50,000 for e-casino and $40,000 for sports betting. Upon approval of the license, the applicant will pay $200,000 for an e-casino license and $150,000 for a sports betting license. Doris Dumlao-Abadilla
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