Online casino industry poised for rapid growth

With the government finally putting in place regulations on online gaming, the industry is now set for rapid growth, says Jose S. Tria Jr of Pagcor's Offshore Gaming Licensing Department, reports Manila Bulletin.

On Tuesday, Tria disclosed that a total of 42 POGO licenses has been granted by Pagcor since September of last year, while 44 applications are still pending approval at this stage.

“Pagcor has rejected several POGO applications, particularly those with criminal records,” Tria added. “Not everyone who applied for a license would be granted if he will not qualify based on the new criteria of Pagcor.”

The gaming regulator collects a minimum of $150,000 monthly from each casino operator’s gross gaming revenue, and charges around $200,000 annually in license fees.

The POGO licenses are very clear that operators must not allow local Filipinos to partake, or face heavy fines.

To ensure all licensed operators are heeding to Pagcor regulations, Tria said they will create a task force to monitor the gaming activities of the service providers.

“We are estimating that Pagcor’s revenues from online and land based will balance in the future, particularly now that the Philippine government has put in place its regulations on online gambling,” the official said.

“For the BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue)  alone, we are projecting that taxes from online casinos could double from P3 billion to P6 billion in the near future,” he added.