Philippines iGaming License: a new alternative to the Curacao Gaming License?

In the realm of the iGaming industry, Curacao has long held its position as a favored licensing destination. Its entry-level license, coupled with affordable setup and maintenance costs, along with extenuating reporting standards, made it an ideal choice for operators targeting Tier-3 jurisdictions. Nevertheless, as the landscape evolves, alternate jurisdictions such as Malta, the United Kingdom, Isle of Man, or Gibraltar come with higher expenses and stricter reporting requisites, leaving operators with limited viable alternatives.

In recent times, iGaming operators found themselves grappling with the impending regulatory changes in Curacao, and the uncertainty surrounding their implementation. The Curacao Government has earmarked September 1st of the current year as the milestone for their much-anticipated Gaming Reform. This reform encompasses more stringent compliance, anti-money laundering (AML) measures, reporting obligations, and substance prerequisites. This atmosphere of change has left numerous operators questioning their future on the island and actively exploring alternative avenues to mitigate uncertainty.

Enter the Philippines, with its newly introduced offshore iGaming license that some industry insiders consider ‘game-changing’. This offering holds the promise of being the sought-after solution, a substantial alternative to Curacao.

The innovation of the Philippine gaming license manifests as a sublicense operating under a master license. The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) issues only a select few gaming operators with a primary license, which can then be sublicensed, permitting both casino and sports betting operations for trusted partners. This model bears a resemblance to Curacao’s concept while diverging in practical implementation.

Sublicensing a gaming license involves the master license holder granting operational rights to another party under their license. Similar to the primary license, the sublicensee must adhere to the regulations, rules, and prerequisites outlined by the main gaming license authority, functioning as a micro-regulator. Adherence to legal boundaries and upholding integrity and responsibility standards is mandatory. Standardized reporting and audits may be mandatory to ensure sublicensee compliance with license terms.

The financial aspect of sublicensing involves the sublicensee making payments, which may comprise fees or a portion of the revenue, to the primary licensee. Payment structures can vary, encompassing fixed fees, revenue percentages, or a hybrid arrangement.

The sublicensee, operating under the purview of the primary licensee, gains the authorization to conduct gaming activities, such as casino and sports betting. Displaying the sublicense on their website and sharing it with relevant financial institutions is commonplace. However, the sublicensing agreement delineates the precise operational scope and any potential limitations.

As the iGaming industry adapts to shifting regulations, operators are presented with evolving choices. Curacao’s transformation and the emergence of the Philippine sublicense model underscore the necessity for adaptability and exploration within this dynamic sector.

The Philippine Offshore Gaming License (OGL) emerges as a pivotal instrument issued by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR). Designed for Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs), the OGL empowers the establishment, operation, and management of offshore gaming endeavors within the Philippines.

The OGL presents a triad of categories, each catering to diverse gaming niches:

  1. E-casino: This category endows license holders with the prerogative to conduct live casino games or utilize random number generator (RNG) technology.
  2. Sportsbook: Tailored for those seeking to delve into sports betting operations, this license category opens the gateway to the dynamic world of sports gaming.
  3. Virtual Interactive Technology (VIT): For gaming visionaries, the VIT license provides the canvas for virtual reality and augmented reality gaming experiences.


The OGL, boasting a validity of one year, can be renewed for an additional year, further anchoring the stability of POGO operations. However, POGOs licensed by PAGCOR are subject to the following taxes:

  1. Income Tax

The scope of Income Tax extends to two crucial areas:

  • Income from Gaming Operations.
  • Income from Other Related Services.
  1. Value-Added Tax

In the realm of Value-Added Tax, specific consideration is given to income arising from Other Related Services sourced from non-gaming activities. 

  1. Franchise Tax
  2. Withholding Taxes

In the sphere of Withholding Taxes, the following parameters come into play:

  • Income payments made by POGO Licensees or any other business entity licensed or authorized by PAGCOR are subject to withholding taxes, as deemed suitable and relevant in each context.
  • Compensation, fees, commissions, and any form of remuneration resulting from services rendered to POGO Licensees or any other business entity licensed by PAGCOR fall under the purview of applicable withholding taxes, as dictated by existing revenue laws and regulations.


Why Choose Porat Group?

When it comes to securing your Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) license, Porat Group’s dedicated team brings a wealth of experience and a deep understanding of the intricacies of PAGCOR regulations, ensuring a smooth and successful licensing journey and will provide a seamless and efficient path to obtaining your PAGCOR license.

Additionally, our teams also add business and operational value in terms of:

  • Assistance with hiring management and staff;
  • Connections and integrations to relevant technologies and platforms;
  • Strategic and management consulting services. 


Contact us today for more details.