Philippines government warns public not to patronize illegal online gambling operations

Philippines government warns public not to patronize illegal online gambling operations

Reminding its citizens that gambling on the internet is against the law, the Philippines government has warned that any kind of involvement in illegal online gambling operations would attract prosecution.

The Philippines government has stressed that only licensed online gambling companies like Global GI Group could participate in internet casino businesses. Participating in any type of unlicensed online gambling would only strict action by law enforcement.

Using the official website of the Philippine Amusement & Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), the federal government said that certain individuals have been organizing illegal bingo games and online gambling and making use of social networking platforms like Facebook to promote such illegal activities. The government also warned people of risks involved in illegal online gambling, such as risk of being scammed, identity theft, and credit card-related fraud.

In the newly-released statement, the federal government stated, “The public is warned not to patronize such schemes due to the risk of being scammed, identity theft, and credit card fraud. Betting on such illegal gambling activities is also a crime.”

According to the PAGCOR, any person found disregarding the warning will be prosecuted and punished as there is a strong link between illegal online gambling activities and organized crime. Many are of the view that the proceeds generated through illegal gambling are used to fund organized crime.

While the Philippines government prohibits its citizens from gambling online, the Asian country is one of the world’s biggest and richest hubs of online casino operations. Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) have become a considerable tax generator for the government. As the deadly COVID-19 pandemic resulted in travel restrictions and the closure of land-based casinos, a big number of gamblers turned to Internet-based gambling platforms.

So-called POGOs mainly cater to gambling enthusiasts in Mainland China, where all kinds of gambling are forbidden, except the government-run Welfare Lottery. Macau, the world’s top casino market, is a Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China, and it operates under its own gambling laws.

Chinese law enforcement agencies recently announced the arrest of more than 11,500 individuals for their alleged involvement in a cross-border gambling activities. According to Chinese Ministry of Public Security’s claims, the cross-border gambling enterprise resulted in loss of $32.3 billion in bets.

Chinese authorities have repeatedly requested the Philippines government to put a ban on POGOs and close the existing online gaming businesses. But, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte declared that POGOs would not be banned as they assist the country’s economy greatly. Currently, nearly five dozen entities in the Philippines hold POGO licenses.