SC asked to stop Pagcor from issuing online gaming licenses
An advocacy group on Monday asked the Supreme Court to stop the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) from issuing online gaming licenses.
In its petition for Prohibition with prayer for Injunction, the Anti-Trapo Movement of the Philippines (ATM) through its chairman Leon Peralta urged the high court to stop Pagcor from accepting applications, processing and issuing licenses for Philippine Online Gaming Operations (POGO).
Petitioner specifically wanted the high court to nullify the rules and regulations for POGO issued by Pagcor board led by Chair Andrea Domingo in September last year and void all existing licenses issued by the regulatory body.
Peralta said Pagcor violated Section 1 of Republic Act 9847 or the Pagcor Charter b on issuing the licenses.
They added that it is also against the recently issued Executive Order No. 13 (Strengthening the Fight Against Illegal Gambling and Clarifying Jurisdiction and Authority of Concerned Agencies in the Regulation and Licensing of Gambling and Online Gaming Facilities…) by President Rodrigo R. Duterte.
“PAGCOR’s continued acceptance, processing and issuance of POGO (Philippine Online Gaming Operators) licenses, as declared by PAGCOR Chair Andrea Domingo is violative of the provisions under EO 13, which specifically defined and clarified the individual authorities granted under the laws by which it was created to each government agency,” the petition stated.
The EO orders the Philippine National Police, National Bureau of Investigation, Department of Justice, Department of the Interior and Local Government, and the Department of Information and Communications Technology to work together and intensify their efforts in curbing illegal gambling.
Aside from recognizing the authority of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) to operate and license gambling casinos, the order recognized freeport zones, such as the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Free Port Authority (APECO), the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA), and Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB) as authorized to operate gambling facilities or give license to operators.
Section 3 of the EO clarified that in the case of online gambling, licensed online gambling operators are prohibited from letting persons “physically located outside the territorial jurisdiction” of the licensing authorities like Pagcor and the freeport zones to participate in the games, whether through an online portal or similar means.
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