December 06, 2023

The Ever-Changing Landscape Of The Philippine IGaming Industry

The Philippine iGaming industry has always been a focus of discussion by the authorities. After Kos came to power, it was the same and never closed down. The main topic of discussion is whether to ban iGaming in the Philippines. The banners cited countless crimes, while the conservatives only. One is that the gambling industry brings tax revenue to the authorities and stimulates the labor market and tourism. Even the wages of ordinary people have increased in 6 years. It has increased from PHP387 in 2016 to PHP575/day now.

Just in October 2023, Tengco, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of PAGCOR, the Philippine gambling regulator, revealed that licensed offshore iGaming operators will no longer be called POGO (Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators) and will be replaced by It's called Internet Gaming Licensees (Internet Gaming Licensees) or IGL.

Tengco recently disclosed the agency’s efforts to make the offshore iGaming industry compliant at the G2E exhibition in Las Vegas. In detail, the agency said that the agency had transferred all POGO companies to "trial status" in August and required each POGO to undergo more probity procedures under the revised regulatory framework.

"55 to 65 licenses will be issued, and there will no longer be service provider licenses, but only IGL licenses," Tengco said.

It is unclear at this stage how service providers will be regulated, or whether they will be integrated directly into the IGL licensees from which they operate.

He said at the time: "Once we are able to provide new licenses... we will update the website and use traditional media and social media to inform the public who the new photo holders are."

"We will announce the new offshore gambling licenses and ensure that this new list is published on the PAGCOR website. When we announce...the final authorized list, we will ensure that this is highlighted on the PAGCOR website."

“When it comes to local licensees, we have a website that is very effective in informing who the legitimate licensees are. There are many illegal operators in the Philippines, but we are doing our best to let the public know who the legitimate licensee ones are.”

Dear friends, what do you think after seeing this news? My most intuitive feeling from the editor of OCMS is that one day, one day, one day, one day, one day. But the change from his agency's name is conspicuous. Before, it had the word "Philippines" in it, but now it says "International". This obvious change can make you imagine that all of this is to become bigger and stronger and develop at a more standardized pace. In fact, this shows that the agency is showing its ambitions to the world by changing its name and positioning.

The gambling industry has become one of the main sources of revenue for the authorities, and the development of this industry is constantly being used to increase revenue. In this case, they not only increased the number of licenses, but even changed the name of the organization to International, which is undoubtedly a clear signal that they are targeting international iGaming investors.

This change also reflects from the side that the authorities are full of confidence and expectations for the future of the gambling industry. They are optimistic about the prospects of the gambling industry and are therefore willing to invest more resources in improving and developing this industry. This change in attitude can be clearly seen from the previous Duterte to the current Marcos.

Their strategy was to target only Southeast Asian investors in the past, but now it has changed to attracting international investors from around the world. Their goal is to attract more investment groups to the Philippines. They are doing everything possible to achieve this goal; after all, Manila is hailed as an “international city.”

They hope that through these strategies, the Philippine gambling industry can have a global impact and attract more investors to invest, thus promoting the economic development of the Philippines. They expect that through these changes, they can achieve the rapid development of the Philippine gambling industry and also hope to bring more employment opportunities and economic benefits to the Philippines.

Whether it is policy changes or market changes, they all reflect the development direction and trend of the Philippine gambling industry. Facing the competition in the global gambling industry, the Philippine gambling industry is actively adjusting and adapting in order to win a place on the international stage. Overall, the future of the Philippine gambling industry is full of opportunities and challenges and deserves our continued attention and expectations.

The history of POGO (Philippine offshore gaming operator)

Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator(POGO)refers to the official name of companies operating in the Philippines and providing iGaming services to markets outside the Philippines. It is an online bookmaker operating in the Philippines but servicing foreign customers. But in order to operate legally in the Philippines, you must obtain a license from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR). In principle, it is obliged to restrict the use of its services by any person in the Philippines (regardless of nationality), Filipino citizens (regardless of where they are), and potential customers in countries and regions where offshore gambling is illegal; otherwise, the license will be at risk of being revoked.

In 2016, the license of the original gambling company PhilWeb will not be renewed. Processing of POGO license applications began in the same year. License licenses are divided into three categories. The first category involves services where online dealers conduct live broadcasts. Categories 2 and 3 are sub-industries of business process outsourcing (BPO) that provide back-end support.

As of June 9, 2019, a total of 56 companies have obtained PAGCOR licenses. Authorities estimate that POGOs have used at least 800,000 square meters (8,600,000 square feet) of office space. Most of them are mainly Chinese, with some people serving the Korean and Vietnamese gambling markets. As you can imagine, the gambling industry has driven the entire real estate industry in the Philippines and employment rate.

Why did they change the name of the organization?

The reason for POGO’s renaming to IGL (referred to as the "Internet Gambling License Regulations") reminds us of PAGCOR’s release of newly revised and improved offshore gambling regulations. The purpose of this revision is to strengthen the supervision of iGaming companies. Many POGOs have already experienced problems, some of which resulted in the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation canceling their licenses. As of August 8, 2023, a total of 274 licenses have been canceled.

Previously, a Philippine senator voted to ban iGaming companies in the Philippines. The reason why they advocated the expulsion of iGaming companies is because the senators believe that the Philippines is used for money laundering, human trafficking, and some security issues in the following ways. But the authorities may also use this opportunity to reshuffle the cards and help their own people. After all, after Marcos came to power, the background of supporting the election before and after also needed some blood. Therefore, Alejandro Tengco focused on POGO. To solve the problem, all POGOs will be placed on trial status in August 2023, and the underlying gaming operators will be required to reapply for new IGL licenses and adopt new, revised, and regulatory frameworks (This can be considered a pretext to build momentum.) After the deadline to reapply for a new license, PAGCOR is expected to issue 55 to 65 licenses. PAGCOR will subsequently publish a list of all IGL-licensed operators in the Philippines on its website. Players will, therefore, have unimpeded access to the legal gambling sites of these operators. Through this, players can easily identify which operators are legal and which are illegal.

(But from the editor’s personal point of view, the starting point is good, but which users will really distinguish it? The players just now may not necessarily know this identification channel)


In the next few years, the Philippine gambling industry may usher in more innovations and changes. Changes in leadership often trigger changes in the industry, which is a normal evolution of industry development. However, in addition to these uncontrollable factors, gambling platforms must always maintain a keen application of new technologies, such as more advanced online platforms and mobile applications, as well as richer game selections and user experiences. In addition, as the Philippine gambling industry moves toward internationalization, we may see more cross-border cooperation and investment in gambling platforms. This also explains why the overseas gambling market has attracted much attention in recent years, and at the same time, iGaming companies are gradually experiencing the baptism of competition. When choosing a stable, reliable, and honest Internet hosting company, it is particularly important to rely on its technology and services.

Gambling platforms need to continuously improve their industry standards and service quality to adapt to the increasingly stringent market environment and user needs. Only in this way can gaming platforms maintain a leading position in the fierce global competition and win the trust of users and investors.

OCMS White Label iGaming spans Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, India, Indonesia, Brazil, Japan, South Korea, China, and many other overseas countries, providing multi-language services and system conversion. With rich experience in the gambling market, we have a deep understanding and analysis of the online gambling market, as a company with more than 16 years of white label iGaming experience. With the help of our highly skilled R&D team and dedicated pre-sales and after-sales teams, we create unique templates for online gambling to cater to the tastes of local gamblers. We support multiple languages to meet various overseas packaging needs. OCMS adheres to the principle of reputation first and technology support, comprehensively serves all white label iGaming customers, constantly optimizes the needs of white label iGaming customers, and works hand in hand with customers to build and win together.