SEARCH FOR UNITY IN PHILIPPINES ONLINE GAMBLING
23rd March, 2017 at 09:52:25
CEZA Administrator Jose Mari Ponce suggests a meeting on fees and taxes with Pagcor and the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone.
Speaking at the ASEAN conference earlier this week, the Administrator of the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority online gambling licensing organisation, Jose Mari Ponce, suggested that a meeting by officials of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation, the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and CEZA could help to develop harmony in licensing fees and regulations in order to address the presently confusing situation from the online casino operator perspective.
The three licensing bodies have been thrown into reform and confusion by occasionally conflicting ad hoc comments from the national president of the Philippines, which has unsettled many online gambling operators and impacted confidence in the region (see previous reports).
The position was recently exacerbated by the president giving permission to Pagcor to issue online gambling licenses dubbed Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators permits (POGOs), conflicting with licensing activities by CEZA and the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone, which operate in the same region and under the same federal government.
In his address, Ponce revealed that officials are busy drafting fresh guidelines to give clarity to the responsibilities and mandates of regulators, and these should be published within the next few weeks.
Among the concessions that CEZA and Aurora seek is clearance to operate outside of their respective zones in Philippine Economic Zone Authority approved buildings in order to give them access to the more advanced and efficient communications and related infrastructure available in the Philippines capital Manila.
Earlier, speakers at ASEAN warned that the unsettled and confusing online gambling licence situation in the Philippines is already motivating operators to enquire about licensing elsewhere, and that having three licensing jurisdictions in one nation does little to provide an attractive jurisdictional home for operators.
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