The Philippines Adapts Policy With License Shutdown to Retool Regulation

Lee R. - December 15, 2019

According to PAGCOR's Domingo, the Philippines will not be issuing new licences for awhile.

In a preventative measure, the Philippines is closing the door on new online licenses.

The Announcement

Out of concern for market proliferation such in neighbouring Cambodia, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation PAGCOR chairperson Andrea Domingo announced the closure at her opening speech at the ongoing G2E Asia conference in the Philippines.

The Purpose of the Ban

She said the move will sustain the growth of the country's gaming industry.

Domingo further explained that the measure is consistent with the current continuum of national legislation after President Duerte's ban on International Resorts IRs and casinos in January 2018 and his lifting of a ban in Clark last year, all of which PAGCOR duly observed, but now “even the Clark region is saturated.”

Settling Regulation

Domingo asserts that acceptance of any new POGO licenses will be halted to allow the gaming industry to mature long enough for all regulations to fall into place.

Crime Element

Sinister elements of the underside of gambling in the country need to be cleared up as well, with Domingo acknowledging that some 95 to 97 per cent of the issues related to POGO include kidnapping, prostitution and finance, all which need to be addressed by the end of 2020.

Fighting Saturation

The ban will include licences for e-bingo and e-games as well in areas where they are deemed to be saturated:

“We want people to know that if it’s overcrowded, there’s no reason to put your money in, just go and invest somewhere else. These are the things we have been discussing with the board, and these are the things that we will be implementing by 2030.”

Insulation from Cambodia

Domingo also said her country's officials would be monitoring closely for relocation of worker's or activity from saturated neighbour Cambodia, asserting that she has no interest in her country benefiting from Cambodian relocations or the perks it might offer such as boosting of office demand.
A More Pragmatic Approach

The updated approach will include regulating the renewal of licenses to that “everybody with a license has a good chance of being successful,” Domingo said.


The updated Philippines approach reflects and protects against overzealous licensing in any region that can lead to economic and behavioral imbalances which need to be checked to keep jurisdictions safe.

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