HNW Business in PH: How to Apply For POGO License

HNW Business: How to Apply For POGO License May 2, 2020

HNW Business in PH: How to Apply For POGO License

Assisted by Adrayay Group, tycoons from the most exclusive society of HNWIs, UHNWIs, and HNW Businesses have been entering the Philippines to benefit from the lucrative offshore gaming market, which allows foreign entities to legally operate online casino and sports betting for their customers globally.

The Philippines has two distinct regions with full government authority to regulate, oversee, and issue licenses to gambling companies. First, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR). Second, the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport, which is popularly known as “Cagayan Freeport.”

Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR)

PAGCOR, which is located in Manila, operates all local and foreign land-based casinos and state-run betting outlets for locals and foreigners across the country since 1977. PAGCOR is the authorized licensor for all POGOs.

Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs)              

POGOs are companies that operate online gambling in the Philippines, in which online gambling services are offered to markets outside the country. POGO, which was established in 2016, is licensed and regulated by PAGCOR. Take note that local gambling laws mandate that residents in the Philippines can only enjoy online casinos licensed and regulated by a legitimate offshore jurisdiction (not PAGCOR, not Cagayan Freeport). Visitors to the Philippines can enjoy online casinos, which are licensed and regulated by PAGCOR or Cagayan Freeport as well as offshore jurisdictions.

Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport (Cagayan Freeport)

Cagayan Freeport, located in Cagayan Valley, is under the supervision of Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA), a government-owned and controlled corporation (GOCC). Cagayan Freeport allows independent land-based casinos to offer their gambling services only to the tourists in Cagayan Valley. Similar to PAGCOR, Cagayan Freeport also acts as an online gambling licensing jurisdiction through its First Cagayan Resort and Leisure Corporation (FCRLC), the authorized master licensor mandated to process applications on online gaming licenses for casino, sports betting, and lottery. It was the first and the only jurisdiction in Asia commissioned since 1995 to regulate and issue licenses for online gambling before POGO was established.

Other Regional Gambling Regulators

The Philippines has also other regional gambling regulators that issue offshore gaming licenses. First, the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone & Freeport Authority (APECO), which was established in Casiguran, Aurora in 2007. Second, the Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB), which was established in Mariveles, Bataan in 2010. The AFAB has the power to operate on its own, or to license, tourism-related enterprises, including games, gambling casinos, horse-racing, and other recreational and sports facilities, subject to the approval and supervision of PAGCOR.

Application Process

There are two types of application for POGO. First, a Philippine-based Operator, which refers to a duly constituted business corporation organized in the Philippines who will either conduct offshore gaming operations themselves or engage the services of PAGCOR-accredited service providers. Second, a Foreign-based Operator, which refers to a duly constituted business corporation organized in any foreign country who will engage the services of a PAGCOR-accredited local gaming agent and service providers for its offshore gaming operations.

Offshore Gaming Licensing Department (OGLD) is the department of PAGCOR tasked with the processing of applications for an Offshore Gaming License, accreditation, and with the regulation of the conduct of offshore gaming operations.

Application Process for Philippine-based Operator

  1. Submission of Letter of Intent addressed to the PAGCOR Chairman and CEO. This is done by the Applicant. Process takes 1 day.
  2. Acknowledges Letter of Intent and initial evaluation of applications. This is done by OGLD. Process takes 1 day.
  3. Issuance of Deposit Notice and Payment Form for payment of application and processing fee. This is done by OGLD. Process takes 1 day.
  4. Upon payment, Applicant MUST submit copy of proof of payment of the application and processing fees and secure clearance from FOCAS-OGLD. This is done by the Applicant within 30 days.
  5. Upon receipt of the proof of payment, LD-OGLD will issue a pre-numbered application kit and table of checklist of documentary requirements. This is done by OGLD. Process takes 1 day.
  6. Submission of complete documentary requirements (MUST be accomplished within 3 months from issuance of a pre-numbered application kit). This is done by the Applicant within 3 months.
  7. Final review, recommendation and endorsement of applications to the AVP, OGLD. This is done by OGLD. Process takes 1 day.
  8. Board Approval. This is done by Board of Directors.
  9. Notice of Approval to the Applicant. This is done by OGLD. Process takes 1 day.
  10. Payment of License Fee/s, APPLICANT Performance Bond Fee and Permit to Possess Fee. This is done by the Applicant within 30 days.
  11. Issuance of License to Philippine-based Operator. This is done by OGLD. Process takes 3 days.

Application Process for Foreign-based Operator

  1. Submission of Letter of Intent and Letter of Appointment of Local Agent addressed to the PAGCOR Chairman and CEO. This is done by the Applicant. Process takes 1 day.
  2. Acknowledges Letter of Intent and Letter of Appointment, and initial evaluation of applications. This is done by OGLD. Process takes 1 day.
  3. Issuance of Deposit Notice and Payment Form for payment of application and processing fee. This is done by OGLD. Process takes 1 day.
  4. Upon payment, Applicant MUST submit copy of proof of payment of the application and processing fees and secure clearance from FOCAS-OGLD. This is done by the Applicant within 30 days.
  5. Upon receipt of the proof of payment, LD-OGLD will issue a pre-numbered application kit and table of checklist of documentary requirements. This is done by OGLD. Process takes 1 day.
  6. Submission of complete documentary requirements (MUST be accomplished within 3 months from issuance of a pre-numbered application kit). This is done by the Applicant within 3 months.
  7. Final review, recommendation and endorsement of applications to the AVP, OGLD. This is done by OGLD. Process takes 1 day.
  8. Board Approval. This is done by Board of Directors.
  9. Notice of Approval to the Applicant. This is done by OGLD. Process takes 1 day.
  10. Payment of License Fee/s, APPLICANT Performance Bond Fee and Permit to Possess Fee. This is done by the Applicant within 30 days.
  11. Issuance of License to Foreign-based Operator and Certificate of Accreditation to its Local Agent. This is done by OGLD. Process takes 3 days.

For HNWIs, UHNWIs, and HNW Businesses

Consult Adrayay Group of Lawyers & Tax Accountants

With Adrayay Group knowing by heart all legal technicalities surrounding online gambling in the Philippines, our lawyers have all skills required to represent your business entity for speedier process using our special local connection with various networks in both the government and the private sector through our ultra-premium luxury concierge for HNWIs, and to ensure that prohibited acts of the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators shall never be committed.

The group provides every service from application process to dealing with financial requirement, reporting & remittance, third-party audit platform, inspection procedure, responsible gaming, and anti-money laundering.

By Carlos Adrayay

Serial Entrepreneur | Expert in exit strategies and succession planning of different businesses across a wide range of industry segments, especially companies in Asia with stable cash flow.