PAGCOR denounces all forms of illegal gambling in the country: land-based and online
Philippines casino regulator PAGCOR fully supports the arrest of illegal online gambling operators, and denounces fly-by-night online gaming companies, following the raids conducted by the country's authorities.
Last week, the National Capital Region Police Office or NCRPO said that they had discovered an online gambling operation without a POGO license in Makati City and arrested 63 Chinese Nationals and 13 local workers. Seized from them were several laptops and mobile phones said being used for illegal gambling activities.
Late last month, PAGCOR commended the Philippine National Police or PNP for the arrest of 53 individuals, including 44 Chinese nationals, conducting illegal online gambling activities in Paranaque City. The city is home to the country's Entertainment City for Integrated Resorts and Casinos.
PAGCOR's decision to allow POGO companies to operate partially has been a massive topic for debates, especially on social media as some do not agree with the resumption of their operations. The regulator previously sent out a stringent set of guidelines for POGO operators which they must comply with before being granted permission to operate. Philippines lawmakers are divided into the topic, with some going as far as filing an Anti-POGO Act to ban the entire offshore gaming industry in the country.
The agency, responsible for approving licenses for the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator or POGO, earlier said that it welcomes the call for a stronger inspection of the offshore online industry.
PAGCOR stated that it denounces all forms of illegal gambling in the country – whether it is land-based or online. "Hence, we welcome this recent move by authorities to apprehend illegal online gaming operators or what we now officially called non-registered offshore gaming operator or NOGOs"
The regulator further stated that they have intensified the crackdown on illegal online gambling since March of last year and has entered into a cooperation agreement with the PNP, National Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Immigration, and the Office of the Cybercrime under the Department of Justice.
PAGCOR also clarified that the agency has no "police powers" and "could not arrest or prosecute illegal gambling operations", and what is mandated of the agency is to "regulate gaming entities and ensure that revenues from such operations will be used for the benefit of the country.
PAGCOR said it cooperates fully with the task force by validating licenses, providing business, tax, and other information on record.
The agency also provides financial grants to these agencies to boost their law enforcement capacities.
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