Pagcor imposes moratorium on new POGO licenses
The country’s gambling regulator has imposed a moratorium on licenses for new online gaming firms amid issues raised against Philippine offshore gaming operators (Pogos) from various sectors, ranging from alleged threats to national security to economic concerns.
In a press briefing at the National Press Club on Monday, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. chair and CEO Andrea Domingo said no applications for Pogo franchises would be accepted “until all concerns have been addressed.”
The moratorium was imposed after the last request was received three weeks ago, capping the number of legal Pogos in the country to 58, with three more firms waiting for their licenses.
“We will no longer accept any more applications until we have reviewed and comfortably addressed all of the concerns of everybody,” the Pagcor chief said, adding that the agency was studying the social impact of the industry, which employs thousands of of Chinese workers in call center-type operations to service online gaming bettors. These mostly Chinese players place bets of as small as 5 yuan on mobile phone-based games of chance.
Domingo said that concerns raised by lawmakers— including worries that Pogo employees could be Chinese spies—would be taken into account by the regulator.
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