Gambling annually brings a huge amount of money to the treasury of the Philippines. It is the second largest income after taxing citizens. Currently, the jurisdiction is a gambling operator’s window to the big and very prospective Asian market.
Local authorities issue Philippine online gaming licenses which allow operators to attract customers from different countries. Unfortunately, it is strictly forbidden for country residents to play or place bets on the platforms with a local license.
There are 2 districts, where it’s possible to apply for the online gaming license in the Philippines: the main zone, ruled by the PAGCOR and Cagayan Freeport area.
The online gaming license of the Philippines gives a permit to offer all types of iGaming excluding the Last Two, Jueteng and Masiao.
Philippines Online Gambling Laws
Gambling in the Philippines takes place primarily under the monopoly of the Philippine Entertainment and Gambling Corporation. This is a 100% state organization. PAGCOR issues the Philippines online casino licenses and sends 50% of the revenues to the jurisdictional budget.
The body handles license applications, controls following the principles of “Responsible Gaming”, and completes a blacklist of gamers. One of the measures prescribed by the regulator is holding of training sessions. All iGaming businesses must provide educational programs on gambling issues for their employees. People are trained on how to identify a problem player, resolve current problems, etc.
The only area not covered by the legal force of PAGCOR is the Cagayan and Freeport Special Economic Zone.
The worst thing is that local internet gambling permits don’t allow operators to attract Philippine citizens to play on their platforms. It’s strictly prohibited by local laws and relevant websites are blocked in the jurisdiction. At the same time locals can play online in offshore casinos and the holders of Philippine online casino licenses can engage a lot of gamers from other Asian (and not only) countries.
Philippines gambling legislation implies compliance with anti-money laundering policy. National AML Regulations, Unusual Transactions Act, Counter-Terrorism Financing Regulations and KYC Policies are mandatory to be followed. That’s why proving the quality and safety of a software is a crucial requirement for those who want to open an online amusement enterprise in the jurisdiction. Also bodies pay attention to the financial solvency of each iGaming platform owner.
Gambling is strictly prohibited for Filipinos under 21.
Districts for licensing online gaming in the Philippines
What country districts are able to issue the Philippines gaming license? The first one is a main region, where the PAGCOR controls everything. For operators, who want to launch a legal virtual gaming business, the regulator issues offshore Philippine online gaming licenses (POGO).
Cagayan Freeport zone issues CEZA Philippines gaming licenses, which allow their holders to attract customers from different countries, but again not from the Philippines. Gambling platforms with CEZA permission have a huge success in other Asian countries, where licenses are not issued.
Philippines Gaming License Requirements. How to Get An Online Gambling License in the Philippines?
Gaming licenses of the Philippines have a good reputation in the international gambling community. To keep such a high level of trust, local regulators carefully study each business and check its owners before issuing a permission.
To obtain the Philippine gaming license, you have to:
- register a business in the country
- open a bank account
- appoint a local director, resident in the Philippines, who will interact with the competent authorities of the jurisdiction and have the right to enter into contracts on your behalf
- prepare a pack of documents for applying for the Philippines gambling license
- provide full information about business, company owners and software
- prove that the company has enough money
- show that you platform protects people under 21 from all types of gambling
- complete the application for gambling license of Philippines
- pay fees
If the commission finds the lack of some mandatory documents, they will send the list of necessary improvements to the operator. After obtaining a Philippine gambling license, platform owners must keep information about their customers for 5 years and also report suspicious transactions.
The package of documents for licensing
To become a holder of the Philippines gambling license, operators should prepare and provide:
- “Personal Probity Form”, including the data of the applicant and other key company members;
- “Company Probity Form” with detailed info about the enterprise;
- Business plan of the company which applies for the gambling license in the Philippines;
- Company charter;
- Proof of the availability of an authorized capital (at least 15,000,000 Philippine pesos ($262,000));
- Letter of no objection from the local government unit, where iGaming operations will be conducted.
The specific list of documents is unique in each individual case.
Contact the LicensingAid to facilitate the licensing procedure. Our specialists can guide you through the entire process, from deciding whether to obtain a Philippines gambling license to actually getting a permit. We will prepare the documentation, advise you on all issues and help with solving any problems that arise.
How much does a Gaming License cost? Fees and taxes
There are two types of the offshore virtual gambling permission:
- Full license (covers all games and sports betting)
- Bookmaking license (only for sports betting)
Costs of obtaining a POGO license and required fees are in the table below:
|Full license||Bookmaking license|
|Payment after the license is issued||$200,000||$150,000|
The holders of POGO licenses don’t pay taxes excluding 5% of the company’s income.
The situation is more complicated with the prices of the CEZA licenses. There are no exact amounts in the public domain, it is only known that online casinos are required to pay monthly 2% of the Gross win and bookmakers pay 1,5% of the Gross win.
According to the official information from the PAGCOR, the usual period of consideration of the licensee’s application is 18-20 days. The processing time can change due to special circumstances or high regulator workload.
Philippine virtual gambling permit is valid for 3 years.
The advantages of a Philippines Gambling License
Why apply for the Philippines online casino license?
- Asians are enthusiastic gamers and the offshore license will allow you to engage them on your platform
- The country’s government supports gambling because it’s a huge part of the income of the state budget
- You can apply for the license even if you are not a resident
- Short licensing period
- Transparent application process
- Local iGaming market is developing consistently and dynamically, which gives us a hope that one day residents can play online on the platforms, licensed by their motherland