“Love” Scammers Uses PH Online Casino To Disguise Their Operations

PNP logoThe Philippine National Police (PNP) has rescued 383 Filipinos, 202 Chinese, and 73 other foreign nationals from a scam center near Manila. 

The center, located about 100 miles north of Manila, was disguised as an online casino gambling firm. Workers are often lured into these illegal operations, which include money laundering, crypto fraud, and love scams. Love scams are also known as “pig butchering” scams after the farm practice of flattening pigs before sending them to the slaughterhouse.

The “love scam” typically starts with a scammer adopting a fake identity and building trust with their victim before manipulating or stealing from their target. 

The raid was initiated after a Vietnamese man escaped the center and tipped off police. The 30-something-year-old victim told police he was told he would be hired as a chef but soon realized he had fallen victim to human traffickers running love and crypto scams. 

Are Online Casinos Legal In The Philippines?

Both domestic and offshore casinos are legal in the Philippines; however, domestic casinos are not allowed to offer their services to the Philippines by law. 

Gambling laws in the Philippines allow online casino operators to work from the Philippines under the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) regulation. Online operators must obtain a Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) license to operate legally from the Philippines.

POGO Scrutiny

Despite the many operators with pure intentions, POGO licensing has been under scrutiny since they were first authorized in 2016 by then-President Rodrigo Duterte. While the operation has produced substantial revenue for the country, many illegal activities have occurred under the disguise of a legal business. Several prominent businessmen and Senators have called to end POGO licensing, claiming that the industry has increased violent crimes in the form of kidnapping and human trafficking. 

How To Tell If An Online Casino Is Legit?

The best way to determine if a Philippine online casino is legit is to vet the site for licensing and compliance records. Trusted gaming regulators will issue licensing and compliance records indicating that the games have been tested and that security protocols are working correctly. 

All the online casino sites we review proudly post their licensing information and any compliance records to assure players that their site is legit. In addition to licensing, reputation is another good way to determine whether a site is legit.