Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) is a governmental agency in the Philippines, responsible for regulating online gambling.
Previously, gaming regulation in the Philippines was carried out by First Cagayan Leisure and Resort Corporation (FCLRC) and North Cagayan Gaming and Amusement Corp (NCGAC), but under the Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, both the FCLRC and the NCGAC have seen their wings clipped, with most of the power now given to PAGCOR.
In this post, we’re going to look at who PAGCOR are, how they operate, and what their complaints procedure looks like.
About The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation
PAGCOR was established back in 1977, and it rose to prominence when it entered into an agreement with Philippine Casino Operators Corporation (PCOC) to open a floating casino in Manila Bay. However, when the casino was destroyed in a fire, in 1979, PAGCOR decided to focus on land-based casinos instead, and they soon entered into an agreement to manage a casino at the Provident International and Resources Corporation (PIRC.)
In 1986, PAGCOR was officially mandated as the sole government corporation conducting and establishing gaming pools and casinos in the country. It was then, over the new few years, tasked with raising funds for the government.
Since then, PAGCOR has opened several of its own casinos and VIP slots clubs in some of the country’s major cities, and it also regulates and oversees a number of privately-owned operations.
At the time of writing, PAGCOR has over 11,000 employees, and in 2007, they benefited from a new piece of legislation, which gave them the exclusive rights to regulate and operate games of chance, to issue operators with licenses throughout the country.
Today, PAGCOR splits its time between its land-based ventures, and regulating online forms of gaming.
The main online gambling license operators apply for from PAGCOR is the Offshore license – and this allows operators to run their business from the Philippines. In order to receive a license, operators cannot accept Filipino citizens, and they also cannot accept foreign players who currently reside in the Philippines.
Acquiring a license from PAGCOR isn’t cheap, and applicants are required to pay an upfront fee of $50,000 just to apply for the license. If successful, a fee of $200,000 is payable every year. Other fees/taxes are payable once the site is functional. A Live Studio set up costs $10,000/month per table, and RNG games (Blackjack, Roulette, Slots, Video Poker etc) cost $100/month per player.
In order to receive a license from the PAGCOR, operators must submit details of all the key persons involved with the business. The regulator will not issue a license, unless it is satisfied that a licensee is of good repute, and that all persons involved with an operator are not associated to any person who, in the opinion of the board, is not of good character.
PAGCOR may also refuse to issue licenses if they are unsure an operator has the experience to establish and manage offshore gaming operations, and licenses must also post a performance bond of $250,000 to PAGCOR.
All hardware and software used by an operator must be tested and independently verified – and this is all subject to PAGCOR’s monitoring and enforcement. This may seem draconian, but it’s necessary to ensure that operators are running their business within the law, and it helps ensure that players are given a fair place to play.
If an offshore operator wishes to apply for a license from PAGCOR, they do so through POGO.
Top PAGCOR Licensed Casinos
There are a number of reputable operators licensed by PAGCOR, and you can view some of the top-rated sites below:
How To Check If a License is Valid
Websites that are licensed by the PAGCOR (through POGO) must display details of their license on their web page. PAGCOR also maintain an up-to-date list of licensees, and this can be viewed here.
PAGCOR do not offer any guidance on their complaints procedure, although it mentions that concerns can be lodged at their website. In the first instance, you should always try to resolve problems directly with the operator in question.
If this fails, you can submit a complaint at PAGCOR’s official contact page.
PAGCOR’S Contact Details
Address: 5F New World Manila Bay Hotel, 1588 MH Del Pilar cor. Pedro Gil Streets, Malate Manila Philippines 1004
Phone: +632 242-0121