The Philippines, known for its rich cultural heritage and natural beauty, is striving to become a leading economic center in the region, gradually improving its legislation to attract more foreign investors. The country is a growing economy with a stock of highly skilled professionals with excellent English language skills available at reasonable prices. In addition, the government is actively working to improve the internet infrastructure throughout the country, which allows for efficient online business.

The Philippines is also strengthening its position in the global gambling arena. Year after year, gambling brings huge amounts of money into the Philippines’ coffers, becoming the second source of revenue after taxation of citizens. Currently, this jurisdiction represents an excellent opportunity for gambling operators wishing to gain access to the vast and promising Asian market.

The Philippines has an effective regulatory system for gambling. The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) acts as the government agency that regulates and controls gambling in the country. An online gambling license in the Philippines permits to offer of all types of iGaming except for Last Two, Jueteng, and Masiao.

It is important to note that online casinos with a PAGCOR license are allowed to offer their services exclusively to foreign players outside the Philippines. Local laws do not allow operators to attract Filipino nationals to play on their platforms, and the relevant websites are blocked in this jurisdiction. At the same time, Philippine online casino license holders can attract many players from other Asian (and not only) countries.

Advantages of a Philippines Gambling License

Possessing a gambling license in the Philippines brings several significant benefits:

A thriving gaming industry
The Philippines has a fast-growing gaming industry that offers many prospects for business expansion.

Robust regulatory framework
PAGCOR has established a robust regulatory framework that ensures fair and transparent operation of gaming activities.

Government support
The Philippine government actively supports the development of the gaming industry by implementing policies that facilitate its expansion, which can be a significant advantage for operators.

Tax incentives
The Philippines provides certain tax incentives to licensed gambling operators, making the business economically attractive.

Variety of gambling options
Many types of gambling are allowed in the Philippines, including casinos, sports betting, electronic gaming, and more. This diversity can be an advantage for operators looking to provide a wide range of gambling services.

Strategic geographic location
The Philippines’ geographic location in Asia can be an advantage for operators targeting the Asian market. This provides an opportunity to enter the growing online gambling market in the region.

International Recognition
The Philippines gambling license is recognized in many countries, which can be advantageous if you plan to provide online gambling services to a global audience.

Infrastructure and technology
The Philippines is actively investing in improving its infrastructure and technology, including reliable internet connectivity. This is key to the success of online gambling operations, ensuring a seamless delivery of services.

Request more info on the Philippines Gaming License

Requirements for getting a Philippines Gambling License

Gambling licenses granted by PAGCOR enjoy a high reputation in the global gambling community. To maintain this prestigious status, local regulators conduct a detailed review of each business and perform background checks on its owners before granting the appropriate authorization.

Key requirements for a company include:

  • formalizing a legal entity in the Philippines;
  • having a resident director in the Philippines to liaise with the relevant jurisdictional authorities and authorized to enter into contracts on behalf of your company;
  • financial strength, as demonstrated by documentation of sufficient funds for the effective operation of the gaming company;
  • background checks on key personnel, including shareholders, directors, and officers, to assess their qualifications and reliability;
  • strict anti-money laundering procedures to exclude illegal financial activities related to participation in online gambling;
  • the opening of a local bank account.

There are several legal forms of business in the Philippines, but the most common is a corporation, similar to a limited liability company. The following requirements must also be met when setting up a Philippine corporation:

  • 2-15 founders (most of whom must be residents of the Philippines);
  • at least 4 members of management, including the president (no residency requirements), corporate secretary (must be a resident of the Philippines), treasurer (must be a resident of the Philippines), and anti-money laundering specialist (must be a resident of the Philippines).

Total foreign ownership is strictly prohibited.

The authorized capital requirements of the corporation depend on the category of foreign contribution:

  • 0% foreign contribution (100% Philippine owned) – $100;
  • less than 40% foreign contribution – US$100;
  • more than 40.01% foreign contribution – US$200,000.

There are several ways to reduce the capital requirements for a company with more than 40.01% foreign contribution from US$200,000 to US$100,000:

  • by employing at least 50 Filipino nationals;
  • proving the use of advanced technology in the company’s operations;
  • exporting at least 70% of the company’s products or services.

After obtaining a gambling license in the Philippines, platform operators are required to retain information about their customers for 5 years and also provide reports on suspicious transactions.

Types of Philippines Gambling Licenses

There are several types of gambling licenses in the Philippines, each with different requirements and for different purposes.

The most common license is the offshore gambling license issued by PAGCOR. The offshore gambling license is divided into two main types:

  • Comprehensive License – provides full authorization for a wide range of gambling services, including casinos, electronic gaming, bingo, and other forms of gambling entertainment..;
  • Sports Betting License – specializes exclusively in the provision of sports betting services.

The choice between a Comprehensive License and a Sports Betting License depends on the gambling operator’s business model and strategy.

Online gambling licenses from CEZA and FCLRC are also available in the Cagayan Free Port Zone for operators offering online gambling to players worldwide from the Cagayan Free Port Zone.

Each license type has different fees, application process, and renewal requirements. That said, PAGCOR licenses are generally considered more prestigious and valuable than CEZA or FCLRC licenses.

How to Start a Gambling Company in Philippines

To register a company in the Philippines, you need to complete the following steps:

  1. Decide on the legal structure of the business and the name of the company.
  1. Apply for approval of the company name and incorporation.

The list of documents to apply for incorporation includes:

  • a completed application for company registration;
  • articles of incorporation;
  • a list of directors and officers of the company with their biographies and contact information;
  • documents confirming the authority of the company’s representative (if the application is submitted by a non-authorized person);
  • documents confirming the availability of sufficient capital for company registration;
  • financial reports and other accounting documents demonstrating the financial stability of the company;
  • documents confirming the location of the company’s office.

You may also need other permits or licenses depending on the nature of the company’s business.

  1. Pay company registration fees, which you will receive from the SEC upon filing your registration application.
  1. Obtain approval from the barangay (administrative district in the region of your choice) in charge of local government administration.

At this stage, you will need to provide a certificate of incorporation from the SEC, two valid ID cards, and proof of your company’s office location address.

  1. Obtain a business permit from the local city hall.

To complete this step, you will need to provide a certificate of incorporation from the SEC, two valid ID cards, authorization from the barangay, and proof of your company’s office location address.

  1. Have your company registered with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and obtain a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) for your firm. Also, register your books of accounts and up-to-date invoices.

To complete this step, you will need to apply (Form BIR 1903), submit a certificate of incorporation from the SEC, a Barangay Permit, a Business Permit from the Mayor’s Office, two valid ID cards, and proof of your company’s office location address.

In addition, all foreign employees of offshore gambling operators in the Philippines and their service providers, regardless of the nature of their employment, are required to obtain a taxpayer identification number. If a Philippine offshore gambling operator hires or employs foreign nationals without a TIN, a fine of 20,000 Philippine pesos (approximately $356) will be imposed for each non-compliant foreign employee.

  1. Also, every employer in the Philippines must register with the Social Security System (SSS), the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), and the Housing Development Mutual Fund (HDMF or Pag-IBIG Fund).

The company registration fee includes:

  • company name verification fee – 100 Philippine pesos (PHP, about $1.78);
  • registration of articles of incorporation – PHP 1,000 (about $17.8);
  • share registration – 150 PHP (about 2.67 dollars);
  • incorporation fee, which is 0.2% of the authorized capital or share capital subscription price, whichever is greater, but not less than PHP 1,000 (approximately $17.8);
  • legal research fee, which is 1% of the registration fee, but not less than PHP 10 (approximately $0.18);
  • Charter Due Diligence Fee – PHP 10 (approximately $0.18);
  • approval from the barangay – PHP 300 -1000 ($5.34 to $17.8)

In recent years, the Philippine government has made changes to simplify and streamline the company registration process in the Philippines, especially for foreign entrepreneurs. Despite the efforts made, the process is still more complex compared to other jurisdictions. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you seek advice from the experienced lawyers at Fast Offshore Licenses. They are ready to provide the best and most cost-effective solution for your gambling business.

Process of obtaining for a gambling license in Philippines

Obtaining a gaming license in the Philippines is a process involving several steps:

  • application submission – applicants must complete and submit a complete set of documents to PAGCOR, including the required financial information;
  • background check – PAGCOR conducts thorough background checks on the applicant, shareholders, and key personnel to assess their suitability and reliability;
  • inspection and audit – the regulator may conduct on-site inspections and financial audits to ensure compliance with regulations;
  • license approval – once all requirements are met and the application is approved, PAGCOR issues a license, allowing the licensee to legally conduct gambling activities in the Philippines.

To request a PAGCOR license for gambling in the Philippines, you are required to submit documents, the list of which includes:

  • a complete application form, completed and signed;
  • financial statements, including accounting statements and projections;
  • documents proving the financial solvency of the applicant;
  • documents certifying the identity and qualifications of key personnel;
  • security and control plan, including measures to prevent fraud and money laundering;
  • documents attesting to the compliance of technical and program solutions with security and integrity standards.

This list may not be exhaustive and additional documents may be required depending on PAGCOR’s specific requirements.

The cost of obtaining and renewing a gambling license in the Philippines includes:

Full license, USD Bookmaker’s license, US dollars
Registration fee


150 000 120,000
Payment after license issuance 200 000 150 000
Renewal fee 150 000 120,000

For an accurate and personalized cost estimate that meets your specific requirements, it is recommended that you consult with our attorneys.

Gambling consultant in Philippines


Eugen Fomin

Gambling Regulations in Philippines

The bulk of the gambling business in the Philippines is regulated by PAGCOR. It oversees Entertainment City (analogous to Las Vegas), as well as land-based and online casinos. PAGCOR’s authority does not include franchises and the scope of activities falling under the purview of other bodies – the Charity Lottery Office (PCSO, the government body that organizes and conducts lotteries) and the Racing Commission (the regulator of horse racing).

The province of the Philippines, Cagayan, has a separate gambling zone, which is a special economic zone with partial autonomy. Here mainly tourists play, and operators are issued licenses valid exclusively on this territory. Gaming in Cagayan is also overseen by PAGCOR, but licenses are issued by the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) and First Cagayan Leisure and Resort Corporation (FCLRC), which is a subsidiary of CEZA.

PAGCOR processes license requests enforces the principles of “responsible gaming” and maintains a blacklist of players. One of the activities prescribed by the regulator is educational training – all gaming companies are required to provide educational courses on gambling to their employees. Employees are given knowledge on how to identify problem players, solve current problems, and so on.

The main laws and regulations governing gambling activities in the Philippines are:

PAGCOR’s other regulatory guidelines and rules can be found on the regulator’s website.

The Philippines takes the fight against and prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing seriously as the government seeks to prevent the gambling industry from being used for criminal purposes. The Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) legislation applies to land-based casinos, online casinos, shipboard casinos, and other gaming and sports activities.

The laws, among other obligations, impose a duty on casino owners to implement risk management policies and maintain records of their customers for at least 5 years. Demonstration of software quality and safety is a crucial requirement for those seeking to open an online entertainment venture in the jurisdiction. Regulators also look at the financial strength of each iGaming platform owner.

PAGCOR’s Department of Supervision and Anti-Money Laundering (PASED) is also responsible for enforcing anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) legislation in the casino industry. This body is authorized to carry out a variety of supervisory actions, including preventive measures, imposed sanctions, and other remedial steps. PASED actively consults with the Philippine Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC), other local and international partners, and casino owners to develop, improve, and implement appropriate policies. Casino owners are required to provide access to compliance checks if suspected by AMLC of money laundering or terrorist financing.

Taxation of Gambling Companies in Philippines

On September 22, 2021, President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law the Taxation of Offshore Gambling in the Philippines Act (Republic Act No. 11590), amending certain provisions of the National Tax Code to clarify taxes levied on offshore gaming operations in the Philippines (POGO).

Key aspects of the taxation of gaming companies in the Philippines include the following:

Offshore gaming licensee, as defined in the law, refers to an offshore gaming operator, whether incorporated abroad or within the Philippines, provided that it is duly licensed and authorized by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) or any other authorized special economic zone authority, tourism zone authority, or free port authority to conduct offshore gaming operations, including accepting bets from offshore customers.

Under RA 11590, all offshore gaming licensees, regardless of their Philippine or foreign status, are recognized as doing business in the Philippines and are required to pay:

  • gambling tax of 5% on gross income derived from gambling or receipts derived from its gaming operations;
  • income tax on non-gaming income of Philippine offshore licensees at the rate of 25% on taxable income derived during each tax year from all sources, including both domestic and foreign sources.

Foreign nationals employed by offshore licensees and service providers are also subject to income tax. The income tax rate is 12,500 Philippine pesos (approximately $222) or 25% of the employee’s gross income, whichever is higher.

In terms of tax exemptions, sales made by VAT-registered persons to Philippine offshore gambling operators are exempt from VAT. Also, services provided by service providers to Philippine offshore gambling taxable gaming operators are exempt from VAT.

FAQ about Philippines Gaming License

How do I get a gambling license in the Philippines?

To obtain a gambling license in the Philippines, you must prepare the necessary documents, submit an application to the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), and undergo a background check, inspection, and audit. Once all the requirements are met, PAGCOR will issue a license allowing legal gambling activities.

How does the Philippines gaming license operate?

The PAGCOR Gambling License in the Philippines acts as an official permit issued by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation for gambling companies. The license is issued after a thorough review and audit of the applicant. Once approved, licensees are required to comply with PAGCOR regulations, including responsible gaming and anti-money laundering. The license is renewed periodically and violation of the license may result in revocation.

How much is a gambling license in the Philippines?

The cost of obtaining a gambling license in the Philippines depends on various factors such as the type of license, the size and nature of the gambling activity, and other relevant parameters. To find out the exact cost, we recommend you contact Fast Offshore Licenses specialists.

What is the processing time for obtaining a gambling license in the Philippines?

The processing time for a gambling license request in the Philippines can vary depending on various factors, including the type of license, the completeness of the documents submitted, and the efficiency of the regulatory body. Usually, the process of obtaining a PAGCOR gambling license takes several months.

How much does it cost annually to maintain a Philippines gambling license?

The cost of maintaining a gambling license from PAGCOR depends on various factors such as the type of license, the scale, and the nature of the gambling activity.

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience.