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PAGCOR’s offshore gaming revenue surge praised

The Chairperson of the Philippines House Ways and Means Committee, Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, commended the country’s regulator (PAGCOR) for collecting PHP5.1 billion ($87.1 million) in revenue from offshore gaming licensees (IGLs) in 2023, representing a 71 percent increase from the previous year.

According to the Philippine News Agency, Salceda said that under the leadership of Chairman Alejandro Tengco and President and CEO Amy Eisma, PAGCOR has been modernizing its policies and practices, leading to a significant improvement in revenue collection from the offshore gaming sector, now referred to as internet gaming licensees (IGLs) under PAGCOR’s revised regulations.

Citing PAGCOR data, Salceda noted that the agency’s collections increased from PHP2.99 billion ($51.0 million) in 2022 (from 158 licensees) to PHP5.1 billion ($87.1 million) in 2023 (from just 87 licensees).

This level is only surpassed by the PHP7.96 billion ($135.9 million) collected in 2019, the first full year of legalized offshore gaming operations, when PAGCOR had 298 licensees.

Salceda stated that PAGCOR’s approach has been to enforce the law and phase out the “bad and mediocre” licensees, rather than eliminating the entire industry.

He highlighted the reduction in the number of Chinese workers directly or indirectly hired by offshore gaming operators, from a peak of 200,000 to the current 8,500 direct Chinese hires, with Filipinos now accounting for 25,000 of the 100,000 total direct or indirect hires.

The lawmaker also praised PAGCOR’s role in apprehending allegedly illegal offshore gaming operations, noting that the agency was the first to take action in the case of the Bamban, Tarlac operation.

In conclusion, Salceda stated that PAGCOR has been effectively enforcing rules on offshore gaming operators, transforming the sector into an industry that creates more jobs for Filipinos and is no longer solely reliant on Chinese demand or labor.

Nelson Moura
Nelson Moura
Editor and reporter with 10 years of experience in Greater China, namely Taiwan and Macau, in printed and online media, with a focus on finance, gaming, politics, crime, business and social issues.



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