PAGCOR revokes 175 POGO licences

281 illegal POGO employees will be deported as soon as October 1.
281 illegal POGO employees will be deported as soon as October 1.

The POGOS employ about 40,000 Chinese nationals in the Philippines.

The Philippines.- The Philippine News Agency has revealed that the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) has revoked the licences of 175 Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) as of September 14. Together they employed around 40,000 Chinese nationals.

A week ago, Justice secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said that starting from October 1, the government would deport 281 Chinese citizens who were illegally employed by online gambling operators. The Philippines now expects 3,000 to 4,000 more to be repatriated by mid-October.

Mico Clavano IV, Department of Justice (DOJ) assistant spokesperson, said that the National Bureau of Investigation is investigating more reports of POGOs operating without licences and is monitoring social media posts about possible crimes, including “alarming” videos and pictures about “murder, kidnapping and prostitution in POGOs.”

Clavano said that Chinese nationals may stay at their hotels at their own expense while the DOJ processes identification papers. The repatriations come after Remulla and the Chinese ambassador Zhou Zhiyong held a meeting to discuss enhance cooperation between China and the Philippines to combat crimes associated with POGOs.

Senate leader presents bill to ban online gambling in the Philippines

Senate majority leader Joel Villanueva has introduced Senate Bill 1281 seeking to ban all types of online gaming in the Philippines, including POGOs and PIGOs (offshore and domestic betting and wagering). If the law is passed, anyone who engages in online gambling could face jail time and a fine of up to PHP500,000 (US$8,700).

Villanueva argued that “the consequences of gambling and online gambling are too serious to ignore. The cost of gambling is no longer limited to the loss of money, but extends to the loss of value and life.”

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