A rapidly developing economy in the Far East, the Philippines is considered as one of the most promising economies in Asia. A country that has long been involved in global trade due to its strategic location, the Philippines is now also a global manufacturing hub. The presence of a large English speaking population has traditionally helped the growth of the industries in the Philippines.
Overview of Philippines Online Gaming Sector
The Gaming Sector in the Philippines is the second-highest source of revenue after taxation. Traditionally the Gaming Industry both in the Casinos and Online Gaming Sector has been controlled by the regulator cum operator PAGCOR (Philippines Amusement and Gaming Corporation). As a regulator cum business operator, PAGCOR operates both casinos and limited online gaming websites. The land-based operations are mostly limited to PAGCOR approved Casinos and online operations to specialized gaming cafes.
The issuance of Philippines Online Casino Licenses is regulated under the Interactive Gaming Act, 2003. As per the provisions of the Act, the licensing process is regulated by the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority. The Licensees also have to comply with the Interactive Gaming Rules and Regulations, 2004 rules_regulations of the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority. A Code of Practice interactive gaming code of practice is also issued for the licensees to regulate their functioning.
How to get a gaming license in the Philippines
Philippines Online Casino Licenses are highly valued and are issued after a thorough investigation of the business and financial backgrounds of the applicants. The Philippines online gaming license holders are allowed to operate all games except the Last Two, Jueteng and Masiao.
There are basically two types of online gaming licenses in the Philippines-
- Full License (Online Casino and Sports Betting)
- Sports Betting License
The difference between the two licenses lies in the application and license fee which we will describe later.
Application for online casinos in the Philippines can only be made by companies registered in the Philippines.
The application has to be made to the Regulator with the following information/ documents:
- A ‘Personal Probity Form’ containing the Name and details of the applicant and all key officials including Directors, CEO and Company Secretary;
- A ‘Company Probity Form’ containing the details of the company;
- Evidence of the intended physical location of the enterprise within the CSEZPF.
- The Business Plan for the operation.
- Signed Copy of Industry Code of Practice
- A Processing Fee of $200.
The fee for Philippines Casino License
In addition to the above-mentioned documents, additional documents such as Birth Certificates, Copy of Passports and Police Clearance Certificates and References may be required to be submitted. For obtaining a Philippines Online Casino license the fee depends on the type of license.
For a Full Gaming License, the following fee needs to be paid:
Application Fee $40,000 in two installments / ($15,000 at the time of application which is non-refundable and $25,000 upon issuance of the provisional license which is refundable)
Gaming Levy 2% of Gross Win/month from e-casino operations / (Gross Win = Turnover — Player wins — Merchant Discount)
Fee for Sports Betting Operations / $48,000 per year
Renewal Fee $40,000 in two installments /($15,000 may be offset against gaming levy paid)
Gaming Levy: 2% of Gross Win/month from e-casino operations / (Gross Win = Turnover — Player wins — Merchant Discount)
Fee for Sports Betting Operations / $60,000 per year
For a Sports Betting License, the following fees need to be paid
Application Fee $26,000 ( $18,000 is refundable if application is unsuccessful)
Probity Cost /$3,500
Restrictive Interactive Gaming Tax $48,000 per year to be paid on the issuance of a license
Renewal of sports betting license
Renewal Fee $15,000
Restrictive Interactive Gaming Tax $60,000 to be paid upfront on renewal.