POGO Investigation Leads Pasay City Police Chief and 26 Other Officers Removed

PNP logoIn Pasay City, the chief of Police and 26 other Philippine National Police (PNP) officers have been removed from duty concerning the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO) raid in late October 2023. 

According to a PNP spokesman, Police Director Colone Froilan Uy, Substation Commander Captain Criz Antonio Cataluña, and 25 other officers could face possible neglect of duty charges.

The POGO raid led to charges of human trafficking and illegal operations, where some 731 workers were rescued from a massage parlor. PNP authorities stated that they found an abundance of evidence that indicates sex trafficking. 

POGO’s Face Backlash

The POGO license for offshore gaming operators has been under intense scrutiny in the Philippines for fueling human trafficking, sex trafficking, and other various violent crimes, according to critics. 

First launched in 2016, the POGO license allows online casino operators to offer their services to other nearby countries rather than the Philippines. Since the industry launched, many Chinese nationals have made their way over to the island nation to pursue online gambling ventures. 

Today, lawmakers, politicians, and several prominent businessmen have called for action against the POGO industry as they believe the industry brings more crime to the country. The POGO licensing is currently regulated by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), enacted by PD 1067-A in 1977. 

Legal Online Casinos In The Philippines

While the POGO casinos are technically legal, PH residents are not allowed access to those sites out of fear of corruption and other harmful effects that could arise. Therefore, the only legal online casinos for Philippine players are licensed sites outside the country. 

PH online casinos offer the same games you would typically find in the big Manila City casinos, including blackjack, poker, slots, roulette, baccarat, and more. Some online casinos also offer live dealer games where players can choose their seats at the table and their buy-in and interact with the dealer over a live video/audio feed. 

One of the best features legal online casinos offer is their multiple banking options. The fastest banking options often include cryptocurrency or vouchers; however, only a handful of sites accept player vouchers. Other popular banking methods include Visa/MasterCard, money orders, wire transfers, and Person 2 Person.