Chinese nationals arrested over iGaming in the Philippines

The government continues to target iGaming in the Philippines and potential illegal operations.
The government continues to target iGaming in the Philippines and potential illegal operations.

The Police arrested over 200 foreign nationals in Lapu-Lapu City over an alleged offshore iGaming operation in the Philippines.

Philippines.- The iGaming segment remains a hot topic in the Philippines.  Illegal offshore operations are a top concern for China and the Philippine government. That’s why the authorities arrested 200 foreign nationals in Lapu-Lapu City, who spent the night at a Cebu City Police compound.

According to the Police, most detainees were Chinese nationals and will remain under custody. They will release them once they complete the process of booking and profiling the arrested individuals.

Philippines’ assessment on iGaming

China has recently targeted the Philippines and its iGaming operations and asked for a total ban. However, President Rodrigo Duterte said the country won’t ban the business as it would put the country’s economy at risk.

“We decide to benefit the interest of my country. I decide that we need it,” Duterte said this week. However, he warned iGaming operators in the Philippines about paying fees and taxes.

The conflict

China-Philippines relations have been tough lately regarding gambling. That’s why China’s embassy in Manila explained any forms of gambling by its residents in Philippine casinos is illegal.

Online and phone betting in the neighbouring country has bloomed over the last few years. That’s why the Chinese government is worried about the amount of money flowing out of the country.

“A conservative estimate shows that gambling-related funds flowing illegally out of China and into the Philippines amounts to hundreds of millions of yuan every year,” said a Chinese embassy statement. “There are analysts who believe that part of the illegal gambling funds have flown into local real estate markets and other sectors in the Philippines.”

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