PAGCOR Raids Illegal Online Gambling Operation And Arrests 12

PAGCOR new logoThe Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) has conducted raids to combat illegal gambling. According to a press release, a month-long surveillance operation ended with 12 arrests in an exclusive subdivision in Paranaque City.

PAGCOR teamed up with the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) and the Anti-Cybercrime Group of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to conduct the raids. Alejandro Tengco, PAGCOR CEO and Chairman said the illegal gaming site was offering slot machines, live casino games, and e-sports.  

The raid caught the suspects operating the illegal casino. Police entered the property with a warrant to search, seize, and examine computer data. The police raid was conducted in the BF Northwest Subdivision, where many of Paranaque’s most prominent residents reside. 

Senior Vice-President of the Security and Monitoring Cluster, Raul Villanueva, told sources that he advises the public to refrain from using illegal gambling sites. Villanueva said that legal online casinos in the Philippines protect players from rogue operators. 

According to Mr. Villanueva, upwards of 5,000 illegal gambling sites were operating in the country at one time, but today, more than 80% of those sites have been blocked. 

Legal Online Gambling In The Philippines

Legal online gambling sites in the Philippines are all located offshore. However, to be deemed legal, a trusted gaming regulator must license offshore gambling sites. 

Philippine gambling laws do not allow domestic casinos or sportsbooks to offer their services online to PH players. Domestic casinos must obtain a Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) license to provide their services online to other nearby countries. 

How Bad Is Illegal Gambling In The Philippines?

Illegal gambling has been a problem long before the first casino was ever erected in the Philippines. Gambling laws were created to combat illegal gambling and raise revenue for the country. 

1977, President Ferdinand Marcos passed Presidential Decree 1067-A, a law to legalize casinos. PD 1067-A also created the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation to oversee all gambling activities in the country. Today, PAGCOR is still the sole gambling regulator in the country, but they also have their hands in casino ownership.

Illegal gambling in the Philippines has been linked to all sorts of crimes, including human trafficking and kidnapping. Numerous businesspeople and politicians have lobbied to get rid of the POGO program to fight crime throughout the country.