Pagcor approves live table gaming for eCafe players

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Pagcor has announced that Philippines eGaming operators will soon be able to offer live dealer table games via licensed electronic gaming sites.

The decision, which was first approved by the regulator in January, before passing into official practice in March, was made public on 2 April.

The application for licenses, known as Permits to Possess, will be available to studio gaming providers and will incur a $4,792 initial accreditation fee.

The fee, valid for one year, will also be required for the annual renewal process, and is only a precursor to the $19,270 cost of the permit itself, also valid for one year, and also costing the same amount to renew.

Operators must also submit a certificate from a certified gaming laboratory, most likely Pagcor’s approved POGO testing lab GLI, that confirms the operators products are blocked from any non Pagcor-accredited Philippine IP address.

Though Pagcor backs the growth of offshore licensees in the country, with chairwoman Andrea Domingo praising the $74.8m raised by 53 approved POGO license holders in 2017, their products are only available for players outside of the Philippines.

Local residents are able to access the eGaming market through the estimated 500 eCafes across the archipelago, however until this point the offering was limited to random number generated games.

The latest decision from Pagcor, the only Asian online gambling regulator, comes amid a growing awareness of the profitability of regulated gambling in the Philippines, despite a crackdown by president Rodrigo Duterte.

The January 31 eGaming approval by Pagcor came just 18 days after Duterte ordered Domingo to cease processing casino licenses in the country.

With Philippine eCafes generating $187.6m for Pagcor in 2017, a well-regulated live table eGaming offering may provide some reassurance to both residents and regulator that the casino experience has a future in the country.

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