Philippines gaming regulator PAGCOR will announce the full list of licensed Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators, or POGOs, in the first week of October as it continues its efforts to clean up the online gaming sector.
PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Alejandro Tengco provided an update to the agency’s online gaming efforts while speaking at the IAG Academy Summit on Wednesday, where he also revealed moves to make the POGO sector more transparent.
In particular, Mr Tengco promised to publish on the PAGCOR website the URLs of all legal online gaming websites being operated by licensed POGOs and PIGOs (Philippine Inland Gaming Operators), with the agency having earlier this week issued a public warning on the proliferation of illegal sites using PAGCOR’s logo without permission.
As part of its efforts to clean up POGOs amid reports of widespread illegal activity including human trafficking, illegal detention and cryptocurrency investment scams, PAGCOR put all POGOs under a “probationary stance” as of 1 August 2023 and required each to apply for new licenses under a revised regulatory framework. The deadline for such applications, Mr Tengco revealed, is this Sunday 17 September with new licenses to be issued by the end of the month and an announcement shortly afterwards.
“Once we are able to offer new licenses at the end of September, we will update our website and also use the print medium and social media to inform the public who the new licensees will be,” he said.
“We will be making announcement on the new licenses for offshore gaming and we will make sure the PAGCOR website will carry this new list. When we announce in first week of October who the final list of licensees will be, we will make sure this will be highlighted on the PAGCOR website.
“When it comes to the local licensees, we have a website that is very effectively informing who our legal licensees. In this situation there are so many illegal operators in the Philippines but we are doing everything we can to inform the public of who the legal licensees are.
Asked specifically if PAGCOR will publish the URLs of the websites operated by licensees, Mr Tengco replied, “Definitely we will, as part of our efforts to inform the general public who the legal valid licensees are.”