The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation ( PAGCOR ) issued a statement clarifying that illegal online gaming activities should not be associated with legitimate Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations after the recent arrests of Chinese and other foreign nationals who were reportedly involved in illegal online gaming.
This statement was issued in response to the recent arrests of Chinese and other foreign nationals who were reportedly involved in illegal online gaming (POGOs).
The announcement was issued after a number of arrests were made of Chinese nationals and other foreign nationals who were discovered to have been working for unlawful offshore gaming enterprises.
“The agency stresses that any individual, group, or entity that conducts online gambling without approval to operate from PAGCOR should not be categorized as POGO,” the agency said on Wednesday. “The agency emphasizes that any individual, group, or entity that conducts online gambling without approval to operate from PAGCOR should not be categorized as POGO.”
PAGCOR Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Alejandro Tengco stated that the agency is conducting stringent monitoring of POGO operations. He also asserted that any gaming entity that fails to pass the application process for an offshore gaming license and to fulfill the documentary and financial requirements, among other requirements, cannot be labeled as legal offshore gaming operator of POGO. Tengco said that PAGCOR is monitoring POGO operations very closely.
Tengco added that PAGCOR is working in close coordination with various agencies such as the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Philippine National Police (PNP), and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to eradicate illegal gaming operations in the country and put an end to the recent incidents of kidnapping and human trafficking associated with illegal gambling.
At the moment, PAGCOR has 127 authorized service providers, 34 recognized POGO operators, and 5 special classes of BPOs that have all been subjected to probity tests. The personnel of Customer Relations Service Providers, Gaming Software Platform Providers, and Live Studio and Streaming Providers were forced to get offshore gaming employment permits, and they are now compelled to obtain police clearances.
Illegal offshore gambling businesses, discovered during recent worker rescue operations, have lately sparked intense debate among organizations and legislators, spurring concerns about perhaps outlawing POGOs in the nation.
Earlier this month, Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva introduced legislation to prohibit all kinds of internet gambling in the United States. Villanueva’s Senate Bill 1281, the proposed “Anti-Internet Gambling Act,” intends to punish online gamblers with up to six months in prison and a fine of up to PHP 500,000 ($8711).
However, property expert Leechiu Property Consultants estimates that if local online gaming sector firms are shut down, the Philippine economy would lose around P200 billion ($ 3,40 billion) each year.
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