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Philippine police battles illegal gaming operations

By Violeta Prockyte

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (PAGCOR), the country’s gaming regulator, issued a statement celebrating the success of a joint police operation that resulted in the arrest of 265 Chinese nationals. The individuals allegedly were involved in running illegal offshore gaming operation Las Pinas City located in Manila before officers from three separate police forces joined in on the raid. Police seized Php6.5 million (US$128,000), more than a hundred laptops, 467 mobile phones and other equipment.  

Pagcor stated that in recent weeks, there were two such operations, and the regulator is determined in their fight against the non-registered offshore gaming operators (NOGOs). Reportedly, it’s been easier for authorities to track illegal activity since there’s a limited number of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) that have been given permission to continue their activities. Since the beginning of May, the operations that want to resume should have a clear tax record and safety measures in place.

Jose Tria Jr, AGCOR assistant vice president for the Offshore Gaming Licensing Department, stated the illegal operations are unaware that in order to resume work, casinos and similar venues have to pass inspection from PAGCOR “so we know which specific sites will be allowed to resume operations,” he said “Consequently, NOGOs right now are easily identifiable since not all POGO sites will resume operations.”

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