POGOs not linked to illegal online gaming, says Pagcor
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) has clarified that illegal online gaming activities should not be associated with legitimate Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (POGOs).
Pagcor made the statement following the series of arrests involving Chinese and other foreign nationals, who were found to have been working for unlicensed, offshore gaming companies.
“The agency emphasizes that any individual, group or entity which conducts online gambling without approval to operate from Pagcor should not be categorized as Pogo,” it said on Wednesday.
Pagcor chairman and chief executive officer Alejandro Tengco assured the public that the agency is strictly monitoring POGOs in the country, further asserting 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 others, cannot be labeled as legal offshore gaming operators of Pogo.”
Tengco added that Pagcor is closely working with the Department of the Interior and Local Government, the Department of Justice, the Philippine National Police, and the National Bureau of Investigation to weed out illegal gaming operations in the country, and put an end to the recent incidents of kidnapping and human trafficking.
A total of 34 approved POGOs, 127 accredited service providers, and five special class of business process outsourcing have undergone probity check, according to the Pagcor.
“Personnel of customer relations service providers, gaming software platform providers, and live studio and streaming providers were required to secure offshore gaming employment licenses and are now ordered to obtain police clearances,” it added.
Illegal offshore gaming operators, unearthed through the recent rescue operations of its workers, have recently been the center of heated discussions among groups and lawmakers, prompting talks on possibly banning Pogos in the country.
But according to property analyst Leechiu Property Consultants, the Philippine economy could lose about P200 billion annually if the local online gaming industry players are shut down.
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