PAGCOR Address Maryland License Plate Scandal & Slams Illegal Gambling

Recently the state of Maryland issued over 780k license plates with a link to an unlicensed Philippine gambling site, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) has recently responded.

The site, which we will not mention, branded a URL once owned by a non-profit organization that commemorated 200 years from the War of 1812. The license plates were made to celebrate the event unknowing that the site was disbanded and acquired by a Philippine casino operator. 

The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration will now have to issue new plates or buy the domain; both options would be costly. 

PAGCOR Responds

After the mix-up went viral, the Philippine gambling regulator chair and chief executive Alejandro Tengco addressed the debacle. Tengco related that the country’s gambling regulator is not associated with Globe International, the parent company of the gambling site on the Maryland plates. 

Tengco added that PAGCOR does not condone illegal gambling and that engaging or betting on illegal gambling activities is criminal. The chief executive also said that illegal gambling sites take away revenue from legitimate and trusted sites regulated by PAGCOR and that the agency will continue to work and crack down on illegal sites. 

Are Offshore Casinos Legal In The Philippines?

Yes, online casinos outside the country are only legal if a trusted gaming regulator licenses them. Philippine gambling laws do not allow domestic casinos to offer their services online to the Philippines. However, domestic operators can obtain a Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO) license to provide their services online to other countries. 

POGO license holders have received massive backlash due to recent reports of kidnappings and other crimes nationwide. Select business owners and several senators have called to disband the offshore program considering current events. 

How Many Casinos Does PAGCOR Own?

According to Nikkei Asia, PAGCOR currently owns 44 casinos throughout the country. The 44 government-owned casinos raked in 15.9 billion pesos in gross revenue last year for the country. 

PAGCOR has recently announced that they might sell their casinos soon to privatize the industry and focus on domestic regulation. PAGCOR has controlled regulating domestic casinos, both owned and privatized, since its formation in 1977.