Pasig shuts down Pogos, e-gambling establishments
MANILA, Philippines — Pasig City has closed all Philippine offshore gaming operations (Pogos), as well as E-games and E-bingos establishments, Mayor Vico Sotto announced Monday.
Sotto explained in a Facebook post that their closure was under City Ordinance No. 55-2022 and that the local government gave the gambling operators the entire year of 2023 to wind up their operations.
“We gave them a chance, more than one month, to peacefully close on their own. However, in blatant disregard of the law and local government regulations, 18 of them continued operating without any permit until this February,” the local chief executive said.
He noted that the permits for e-games and e-bingos expired on December 31, 2023.
“They are really audacious for still continuing their operations,” Sotto said in Filipino during Monday’s flag-raising ceremony at city hall.
Sotto ordered the Business Permit and Licensing Department on February 9 to padlock the gambling establishments.
“We know that this brings no good to our society. And if it brings no good to our society, let’s just remove it from our city,” he also said.
In his social media post, Sotto said the establishments are often connected to gambling addiction and even human trafficking.
“Even if they say that they pay ‘taxes’, the city won’t even lose that much,” he also wrote on Facebook.
However, Sotto said the operation of Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office lotto outlets will continue in the city since it is excluded from City Ordinance No. 55-2022, which disallowed gambling establishments from applying for licenses to operate in Pasig City.