PEZA agrees to compromise on hosting online gambling

Published by rudy Date posted on June 13, 2017

By Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star), Jun 13, 2017

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Economic Zone Authority is not closing its doors completely to online gambling firms wanting to locate in PEZA-accredited buildings and sites, agreeing to a compromise that will enforce much stricter rules for locators in accordance with President Duterte’s war against illegal gambling.

PEZA director general Charito Plaza said she is now amenable to hosting online gambling firms in PEZA-accredited buildings and sites, provided they first secure a Philippine offshore gaming operator (POGO) license from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor).

Plaza said the POGO license will also be required even if the locator has already been given license to operate by the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Authority (APECO) and Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA).

“So now it is already the decision of the building owners, they have the last say. They will ask us permit to locate if they are willing to host this online gambling locators but no incentives from us. We will give them permit to locate in our PEZA accredited buildings provided they fall under EO (Executive Order) 13 as the legal entities to operate online gambling,” Plaza said.

“It’s already a good compromise because of course we want to support the program of the President, especially when what he is really after is the social funds which Pagcor provides, 70 percent of their income accordingly goes to the social fund of the President,” she added.

Executive Order (EO) 13 signed by Duterte last May directed the Philippine National Police, the National Bureau of Investigation and other law enforcement agencies to intensify the fight against illegal gambling. It likewise recognized Pagcor, CEZA, and APECO as authorized to operate gambling facilities or give licenses to operators.

“But online gambling operators in CEZA and APECO should still get POGO license from Pagcor to operate in PEZA buildings,” said Plaza, noting she still has reservations about hosting APECO and CEZA authorized online gaming operators in PEZA accredited facilities.

She said she has sought guidance from Malacanang regarding the matter.

“I have reservations that’s why I’m getting guidance from the Office of the President on the CEZA and on APECO case because what Pagcor is saying is they should only operate in their territory,” Plaza said.

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