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PAGCOR cracks down on illegal iGaming operations with multiple arrests

Updated:2024-03-20 09:49    Views:56

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) has made several arrests regarding illegal online gambling sites.

The month-long investigation was ordered by PAGCOR soon after the authority announced that it would focus on the regulator side of its business.

A total of 12 arrests have been made so far in regards to the operation, which was carried out by the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) and the Anti-Cybercrime Group of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

The website in question was known as Big Bet.

Raul Villanueva, PAGCOR Senior VP for Security and Monitoring, said: “The operation was part of our unified efforts to intensify the fight against illegal online gambling because we have a marching order from PAGCOR Chairman Alejandro Tengco to put a stop to these illegal activities.

“We will continuously collaborate with law enforcement authorities such as the PNP and even the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency to put a stop to these.

“We advise the public to stop patronising illegal online gaming sites and instead play on legal platforms to protect themselves.”

The illegal website was offering online casino games without a licence, which included slot games, live casino titles, esports opportunities and others.

According to PAGCOR, around 5,Online Casino Games for Real Money000 illegal sites were operating in the country, but due to recent efforts this has been reduced by 80%.

Villanueva continued: “Unfortunately, most of the victims of these illegal sites are Filipino bettors."

“We are also working closely with the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center under the Department of Information and Communications Technology, because we have a lot more targets under surveillance.

“We need to consistently monitor and report them to authorities not only to protect the bettors, but to also ensure that revenues from regulated gaming are channeled back to the government for its nation-building programmes.” Gross gaming revenue in the Philippines was Php285.27bn ($5.09bn) in 2023.

Last week, PAGCOR also released a statement regarding its privatisation plans.





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