PAGCOR welcomes crackdown on NOGOs
One hundred fifty-one foreign nationals were detained by the Philippine authorities for allegedly working for an illegal Philippine offshore gaming operator (POGO) now locally termed as NOGOs or non-registered offshore gaming operators.
The arrest in Quezon City last Tuesday night came after the police received a tip about a NOGO operation in the area, prompting local authorities to monitor the vicinity closely.
In a police report filed on Wednesday, the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) stated that the NOGO firm was raided at 8:30 in the evening but they have yet to identify the nationalities of the foreign individuals arrested during the raid.
Items seized in the raid include 2,012 units of mobile phones, 149 computer monitors, 34 CPUs, 19 laptops, several keyboard, printers, wi-fi phones, 2 passports, assorted IDs, foreign currency bills and other electronic equipment.
Officials informed the police that the company did not secure a barangay permit. Authorities are now confirming if the firm registered a business permit under the local government unit of Quezon City.
The suspects are now under the custody of the Regional Special Operations Group in Camp Bicutan for filing appropriate charges.
Philippines gaming regulator PAGCOR earlier announced that it is supporting authorities in arresting illegal offshore online operators in the country. Several raids were conducted by the police in Paranaque City, Makati City and Las Pinas City, seizing electronic equipment apparently used for illegal online gaming activities.
Gaming operations for landbased and online casinos were suspended mid-March to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus in the country. Last month, PAGCOR allowed POGOs to operate, following a strict set of guidelines which include settlement of due taxes to PAGCOR and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR). Currently, POGOs are processing requirements to be able to start operation as soon as they have complied with the guidelines set by PAGCOR.