Executive Order No. 13 And Its Impact To The Philippines Gambling Market

In Manila, President Rodrigo Duterte signed Executive Order (EO) No. 13 on February 2nd, 2017. The Order is an effort to strengthen the fight against illegal gambling and clarify jurisdictions for licensing agencies that regulate and license gambling facilities and online gambling houses. This is an attempt by the President to intensify the governments fight against illegal gambling operations. It also calls for government agencies to work together to fight illegal gambling and mandates that each agency will report their efforts to the Office of the President every 6 months. The Order took effect on February 10th after it was put into national circulation via the newspaper.

Executive Order No 13 Defines Illegal Gambling

The first section of the Order is entitled “Law enforcement and Government Agencies to Curb Illegal Gambling” and states that the Philippine National Police (PNP), the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and all other law enforcement agencies are ordered to intensify the fight against illegal gambling. This should be done in coordination with the Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT). The law enforcement agencies are directed to promptly act on requests from gambling authorities to investigate and put a stop to illegal gambling activities. The President wants to intensify the fight against illegal gambling so that they can raise more legal gambling revenue to assist with funding that builds infrastructure and provides city resources.

In the next section of the order it defines illegal gambling as anyone who directly or indirectly takes part in a gaming scheme regardless if winning is based on skill or chance, when wagers that consist of value or money are at stake and such a scheme is not authorized by a government agency empowered by law to authorize the conduct of such games. Illegal gambling is hard to combat anywhere and a lot of times the money will lead to funding other illegal activities.

The Impact Of Executive Order No 13 For Online Gambling And The Risks

The 3rd section of this order is directed at online gambling operators and states that no domestic, licensed online casino will allow people from inside their territories to gamble, place bets or participate in any way online or by similar means. It also states that licenses cannot be shared, sold, leased, transferred or encumbered to anyone other than who the license was issued for. This Philippine gambling law was expanded on so that operators will not try to lease or pass on their operating licenses. Operating licenses are expensive so when casinos are sold, or transfer ownership operators usually try to make the switch when their operating lease is up for renewal. Each gaming machine must be licensed individually for record and service purposes. Domestic casinos can offer online games to foreign players but are not permitted to offer online casino games to Filipino residents. Philippines residents interested in playing casino games online can learn how from our guide to Philippine legal online casinos.

The Functions, Requirements And Funding According To E.O. 13

The order goes on to state that the President shall have oversight functions when implementing the new order and relevant agencies shall recommend the issuance of rules and regulations for the suppression of illegal gambling. All government regulatory agencies including, PAGCOR, CEZA, AFAB, APECO and similar agencies are to lend their assistance to the Office of the President and submit consolidated reports on their progress every six months from the effective date.

Funding for the provisions of the order shall be taken from the available appropriations from the centennial year of 2017 and the General Appropriations Act and shall be incorporated into the regular budget for the concerned agencies.

What It All Means

The President has an agenda to crackdown and reduce illegal gambling and to create more revenue from legal gambling. Recently the Philippine government started issuing offshore licenses to online casinos by way of the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO). POGO set aside 50 licenses to try for their first year but since the legislation was such a hit, it is assumed that they will be licensing more for next fiscal year. Before, Asia operators could only get that validity through the First Cagayan Resorts & Leisure Corporation and their licenses. This Executive Order No. 13 also sets jurisdictions for these regulatory agencies giving them power over their allotted jurisdiction.

It also states that these governmental agencies don’t have to abide by the other agencies rules but they all must report back to the Office of the President every 6 months. The report is a way that the President can make sure that his agencies are combating illegal operations and to suggest a better way to fight it in the future. This order means the Philippines are taking illegal gambling crimes seriously. It also suggests that they might be working on something really big or just need funding for something really expensive. Either way, the President is taking this issue very seriously, expect to see further developments in the near future.