PAGCOR denies presence of Chinese gaming operators near military camps

PAGCOR denies presence of Chinese gaming operators near military camps

A security expert had described operators as “Trojan horses” that China might use to launch surprise attacks.

The Philippines.- Alejandro H. Tengco, chairman and CEO of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) has refuted claims that there are licensed offshore gambling operators near military installations.

His comments come after defence secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr said such operators should be shut down amid claims from a security expert that operators were “Trojan horses” that could be used by China to stage “surprise attacks” against military installations.

Tengco said any businesses in such locations were operating illegally. He said 255 former POGOs had their licences revoked in September 2023 due to unlawful activities.

Earlier this week, PAGCOR’s chairman argued that the threat to national security came from alien hacking and scam syndicates (AHaSS) not legitimate internet gaming licensees. He added that internet gaming licensees contributed over PHP5bn to PAGCOR’s gross revenue in 2023, providing financial support to the government.

Another lawmaker joins call for ban on offshore gaming companies

Surigao del Norte 2nd district representative Robert Ace Barbers, chairman of the House Committee on Dangerous Drugs, has added his voice to calls for a ban on offshore gambling operators in the Philippines. He said the operators pose “a serious threat to national security.”

His call echoes that of senators Imee MarcosRisa Hontiveros and Sherwin Gatchalian. Barbers noted that he had questioned the activities of the offshore gambling operators in 2017 and said that the situation has since worsened.

According to the Philippines News Agency, Barbers questioned the (PAGCOR’s move to rename POGOs saying: “No change of name can ever erase its legacy of crimes. POGO by any other name stinks just the same.”

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