Philippines: 41,000 arrested for illegal gambling in H1

E-sabong was banned in May 2022.
E-sabong was banned in May 2022.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) says it’s conducted 50,000 police operations against illegal gambling.

The Philippines.- The Philippine National Police (PNP) says that in the first half of the year, it’s arrested more than 41,000 people in 50,000 operations. The figures were reported by the Philippine News Agency, citing Police General Benjamin Acorda, the chief of the PNP.

The operations are said to have targeted unauthorised gambling, with a particular emphasis on illicit online cockfighting, known as e-Sabong. The Philippines had licensed this activity, but legal e-sabong was terminated in May 2022

Acorda said that due to a lack of specific laws addressing online betting, authorities faced challenges enforcing regulations. However, he said the PNP was working with other agencies to coordinate efforts and take down illicit websites. Acorda highlighted collaboration with the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).

He added that police, regional, provincial, and district directors, police station chiefs and precinct commanders who are found to be ineffective or lacking in their efforts to stop illegal gambling in their respective jurisdictions would be relieved of their positions.

Separately, while the Philippines licences onshore and offshore gambling via PAGCOR, licensed offshore operations have also caused controversy. The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) has revoked the permits of several POGOs due to breaches of tax liabilities and allegations of criminal involvement.

See also: PAGCOR cancels CGC accreditation for criminal activities

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