House bill filed to ban Pogos, revoke current licenses

House bill filed to ban Pogos, revoke licenses

/ 12:51 PM June 11, 2024

PAOCC links Philippine offshore gaming operator (Pogo) to various crimes Morcoso / canceled operational

Philippine offshore gaming operator (Pogo)  (Noy Morcoso / file photo)

MANILA, Philippines—A bill seeking to revoke licenses and ban all Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (Pogos) in the country has been filed by Makabayan bloc lawmakers in the House of Representatives.

ACT Teachers party-list Rep. France Castro on Tuesday led the filing of House Bill (HB) No. 10525 or the proposed Anti-Pogo Act of 2024, which is in response to the alleged proliferation of illegal activities connected to Pogos.


“Pogos have brought with them a swarm of crimes as testified by countless police raids: rape, murder, illegal recruitment, human trafficking, prostitution, illegal detention, inhumane labor practices, money laundering, and immigration bribery, among many others,” Castro said.


 “Their supposed economic benefits have also been negligible compared to the social costs they have inflicted on our people and communities. It is high time we put a stop to this social menace,” she added.

The bill seeks to revoke all licenses granted to Pogos while totally banning future Pogo operations.

If enacted, the following will be considered prohibited acts:

  • facilitation of any offshore gaming through any means of device within the Philippine territory
  • acceptance of any form of betting for offshore gaming operations
  • acting as a service provider for offshore gaming operations in the Philippines as defined under this Act
  • creation of a Pogo hub in the Philippines
  • establishment of a gaming laboratory in the Philippines or providing services as a gaming laboratory
  • possession of gaming paraphernalia
  • aiding in, protecting, or abetting the conduct of any act or activity prohibited under this Act

 “We call on our colleagues in Congress to swiftly approve this bill that will protect Filipino families and communities from the proliferation of crimes and social ills brought about by Pogos,” Castro said.

It is unclear, however, how the Makabayan bloc’s bill would be discussed given that the House committee on games and amusements approved two proposed measures seeking to ban Pogos.


The bills mentioned are HB No. 5082 by Manila 6th District Rep. Bienvenido Abante Jr. and House Resolution No. 1197 from Cagayan de Oro City 2nd District Rep. Rufus Rodriguez.

HB No. 10525 has been filed after several questions were raised about the practicality of having Pogos when gaming operations have been linked to different crimes. 

Recently, there were also concerns that Pogos are a national security threat, as they may be used to house spies from China.

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TAGS: House of Representatives, POGO ban

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