Philippines gaming regulator PAGCOR has temporarily stopped accepting applications for Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) licenses while it addresses a variety of concerns over the scheme.
The decision, announced by PAGCOR chair Andrea Domingo on Monday, comes after the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines issued a statement earlier this month expressing its concerns over the proposed transfer of Chinese workers employed by POGOs to self-contained hubs and warned against the illegal inducement of Chinese citizens to gamble either online or in Philippines land-based casinos.
Domingo has also noted the need for tighter measures concerning the entry of foreign nationals to work in the Philippines amid suggestions the POGO market may already be saturated. According to the PAGCOR boss, there are currently 58 licensed POGOs in the Philippines employing around 138,000 Chinese workers, with another three license applications pending.
It is expected that the ban on new POGO applications will last throughout 2019.
“We will finish the assessments by the end of the year – we don’t want problems,” Domingo said. “We should be able to come up with a viable and good program.”