New Philippines President Duerte Sets Sights on Online Gambling

Lee R. - July 9, 2016

Ambitious reforms look to be pursued vigorously, even if they can't come soon enough.

Well, its two steps forward and two steps back for online gambling in the intriguing Philippines jurisdiction.

Tackling Illegal Activity

While the establishment of a new jurisdiction has spurred optimism for online gambling in the Philippines, the area is still by no means free of the preponderance of illegal gambling taking place in the region that flies in the face of the goals of regulating authorities.

New Initiatives

The task to bring online gaming activity within regulatory guidelines now falls to newly elected Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte. Among the landslide election winner's stated priorities are to establish a 24/7 government hotline for reporting of illegal gambling activity along with designating government agencies to enforce increasingly strict bans. The hotline itself should provide licensed operators with the opportunity to blow the whistle on illegal competitors as well.

System Overhaul

Duterte has vowed to end the proliferation of online gambling in the Philippines, which he says is currently “out of control” under the auspices of current Philippine regulatory body of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation PAGCOR.

Implementing Online Taxing

Duterte has further directed PAGCOR chief executive Andrea Domingo to cancel all current online licenses held over from the previous Benigno Aquino administration “sometime soon,” out of his concern over the current lack of formal mechanism for collection of government taxes from online enterprises.

Dimension of Urgency

The necessary reforms may not come fast enough, with Asian police forces in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, and other Southeast Asia jurisdictions cracking down on the proliferation of illegal internet betting activities besetting the currently running Euro 2016 football tournament.

The Punisher Warns

One thing is sure: the expansion of Duterte's individual jurisdiction will have illegal operators taking a harder look at the risks they run: as mayor of Davao, Duterte earned the nickname "The Punisher" from Time magazine after confirming his links to a slew of so-called “extrajudicial killings” just last year. Duterte accompanied the announcement with a personal warning that if elected president, he could kill up to 100,000 criminals, an affirmation which may reasonably be assumed to have some potential to serve as an accelerated deterrent.

Establishing Sustainable Credibility

An effective deterrent would help forge a reputation of stability and efficiency in the new collection of jurisdictions emerging in the Philippines such as the new Aurora Pacific Economic Zone And Freeport Authority (APECO).

Diverting Revenue Constructively

Before the election, Duterte asserted that healthcare would be one of the main priorities of his administration while proclaiming that all of the estimated billions in PAGCOR earnings should go towards health and education programs.


Look for similar contributions from new licensing authorities in the Philippines, as well as substantial drops in designated illegal activity, with substantive results likely to start showing sometime after Euro 2016.


Important Notice

By visiting this site, you certify that you are over 18 years old, and you are giving your consent for us to set cookies. We use cookies to enhance your browsing experience, serve personalized ads or content, and analyze our traffic. Read More