Business Groups Concerned, Wants POGO Licenses Suspended Indefinitely

A group of Philippine businesses has joined together to ask the government to suspend Philippine Offshore Gambling Operator (POGO) licenses indefinitely due to concerns about growing tensions with China.

The Foundation of Economic Freedom (FEF), the Makati Business Club (MBC), and the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) have joined forces to oppose the offshore gambling sector of the Philippines. Citing no specific numbers, the businesses believe that offshore gambling licenses issued by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR)are hurting relations with China and that the economy will absorb the initial revenue loss.

A few weeks ago, the news was leaked that China had blacklisted the Philippines’ gambling sector since POGO operators target Chinese residents with offshore online casinos that are out of China’s jurisdiction. While these services are legal under current Philippine gambling laws, they are frowned upon in China, and the Chinese government can prosecute Chinese residents for using these services in China.

History Of POGO Licenses In The Philippines

POGO licenses were first issued during the COVID-19 lockdowns as a way for the government to generate revenue when patrons were not allowed to gamble in person. However, POGOs do not allow domestic casinos to offer their online services to Philippine residents. 

Special privileges were allowed during lockdowns that allowed domestic casinos and sportsbooks to operate online, but those privileges have since receded.

While there are legal online gambling sites for Philippine residents, all the legal sites operate from outside of the country. Our guide to Philippine online casinos details the best legal sites available to Philippine residents. Offshore gambling sites are the best legal solution if you are looking for a new way to play or just like the convenience of mobile gambling.