Philippines discusses gambling ban

Philippines could ban online gambling amid tension with China.
Philippines could ban online gambling amid tension with China.

A presidential spokesperson said is up to President Rodrigo Duterte to decide whether the Philippines will enforce a complete gambling ban.

Philippines.- The gaming industry in the Philippines has been in the spotlight for quite a while. Even as President Rodrigo Duterte had eased up on restrictions, potential hurdles continue to rise up in the horizon.

Amid a major controversy with POGO licensees and China, Philippines is even discussing a complete gambling ban.

According to presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo, it’s up to the President to decide.

“We have to ask the President on this policy or issue. We have to ask the President,” GMA News quoted him saying. However, he reminded reporters that online gambling is legal in the country.

Regarding the mentioned tensions with its neighbour, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang urged the Philippines to ban online gambling.

“We have also taken note of the Philippine government’s announcement and appreciates it. We hope the Philippines will go further and ban all online gambling,” he said.

POGO licence suspension

The Philippine Amusement Gaming Corp (PAGCOR) announced changes regarding gambling hubs that illegally employ Chinese nationals. The gaming regulator in the Philippines won’t take any further POGO applications for new offshore gambling firms.

PAGCOR will “stop first and look at other concerns that we have not met comfortably,” chairwoman Andrea Domingo said. She detailed there are 58 licensed offshore gaming operators in the country, and three applicants await for consideration.

“We will finish the assessments by the end of the year,” ABS CBN News quoted Domingo. “The government doesn’t want problems. We should be able to come up with a viable and good program,” she said.

“(There might be problems) because of this crackdown (on illegal gaming hubs hiring Chinese nationals). We have to assure them (markets outside Asia) that here, everything is up and above board,” Domingo assured.

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