Unpaid POGO fees under protest—Pagcor

State-run Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) said its uncollected receivables from Philippine offshore gaming operation (POGO) was a result of intensive fight against illegal online gambling.

Philippine Offshore Gaming Operation

In a statement, the government’s gaming regulator said the P1.36 billion in past due accounts receivable flagged by the Commission on Audit (COA) came from illegal online gambling linked to legitimate POGO licensees.

From 2018 to 2020, Pagcor said the agency’s intensified research and investigations found several undeclared websites appearing to be mirroring the official websites of accredited POGOs.

“As an initial remedial measure, the agency imposed assumed or estimated billings for these websites based on the average income performance of the original declared websites of its licensees,” Pagcor said.

However, the agency noted that these billing were still subject to Pagcor's “protest mechanism for questioned billings.”

“These billings were protested by its licensees, on the basis that the websites are actually websites of illegal operators, stealing their live streams and making it appear as the legal websites of our operators,” Pagcor claimed.

At present, Pagcor said the P1.36 billion accounts receivable and the discovered websites are “still in the process of revalidation pursuant to existing procedures.”

“While some have already been resolved, the others are still undergoing thorough validation,” Pagcor said.

“The COA audit observation on past due receivables persists and remains unresolved due to the unsettled protests filed by other POGO licensees,” the regulator added.

Sen. Risa Hontiveros has called on Pagcor to immediately collect the P1.36 billion in accounts receivable from POGO.

Hontiveros’ call comes following the release of COA’s annual 2020 report on Pagcor indicating that there were 15 POGOs with delinquent accounts.