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PAGCOR AND FOUR OTHER AGENCIES INTENSIFY EFFORTS TO ADDRESS ILLEGAL POGO-RELATED CRIMES


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AMIDST reports of increasing number of kidnapping incidents related to illegal offshore gaming operations in the country, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) has intensified the collaboration with its partner government and law enforcement agencies.

In an inter-agency meeting among PAGCOR, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Justice (DOJ), Philippine National Police (PNP), and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on September 14, 2022, each agency committed to help safeguard the welfare and safety, not only of Filipinos but also of foreign nationals working in the country.

PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Alejandro Tengco said the inter-agency collaboration is a response to the instruction of President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. to address the recent Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (POGO)-related kidnapping cases and other illegal activities. “The President said na higpitan na natin because the image of the country and of this administration is being tarnished by these illegal incidents,” he stated.

Tengco said that one of the initial steps in the inter-agency undertaking is to identify the illegal operators. “The information we received is that these alarming incidents of kidnapping came from the ranks of illegal operators. While it will be a challenge to all participating agencies, the good thing is that we are receiving information as to where these illegal operations are located. With the help of everybody, we will be able to zero-in immediately,” he cited.

The PAGCOR chief added that the licensed POGO operators have also shown their commitment to help address the problem by “policing their own ranks.”

“First, they are now going to ask their people to contain themselves in an area for safety and security purposes. Second, they will come up with an updated list of their employees because some have already resigned. Third, we will require them to submit a police clearance together with their application for an offshore gaming license employment (OGEL) ID. At least, those who apply, alam natin na malinis ang kanilang record,” Tengco furthered.

If the kidnapping of foreign workers the country is not abated, Tengco warned that the consequences may affect even the legitimate POGO operators.

If these kidnapping incidents and other illegal activities persist, it is clear that not only will we cancel the licenses of POGO operators, but the entire industry may be affected by whatever decision will emanate from the national government. So let us help each other solve these issues the soonest,” Tengco said.

Meanwhile, PNP chief Rodolfo Azurin said the PNP is doing its best to ensure the safety and security of everyone – including foreign nationals who are working in the country.

“But first, there should be respect for our law. Ilan sa mga pinaka-matinding reports na nakuha natin ay kinidnap na, minurder pa while some are reportedly engaged in human trafficking and slavery. Sa ngayon, kaya nahihirapan tayo kasi sila-sila ang nag-a-away-away. Are we still going to wait na kapwa natin Pilipino ang kanilang saktan? We don’t want that to happen,” Aruzin said.

The PNP chief also stressed the importance of holistic partnership with different government agencies, including the local government units to appropriately deal with the offenders. He likewise requested POGO operators to surrender their permit to carry firearms to PNP as well as furnish them with updated information on the foreign workers’ employment permits.

Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos also cited the importance of inter-agency cooperation and regular updating of the list of legitimate foreign POGO workers in the country to avoid problems related to human trafficking.

“The problem is, those who are no longer working in a legitimate POGO operations, kung saan-saan nagpupunta. It is important for us to track them because these kidnapping incidents are giving the POGO industry, as well as our country a bad name.”

Abalos reported that DILG already started a crackdown against human trafficking. A total of 43 Chinese nationals who were enslaved under human trafficking conditions were rescued in an operation in Angeles City on September 14. The DILG chief gave the PNP and other participating agencies a timeline of two weeks to abate all POGO-related illegal activities in the country.

DOJ Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla, who also attended the inter-agency meeting stated that their agency, in coordination with NBI and the Bureau of Immigration, will cause the immediate summary deportation of arrested illegal foreign workers and those responsible for the spate of kidnapping and related criminal activities.

Asia

Made-in-India Battle Royale Indus Gameplay Trailer Revealed via London Takeover, Pre-Registrations Live Now

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Leading Indian game developer SuperGaming has revealed the first gameplay trailer for its upcoming Indo-Futuristic battle royale Indus to celebrate India’s Republic Day of January 26, 2023.

To launch the gameplay trailer, the company released a series of high-impact takeovers across the biggest locations in London. This is in line with SuperGaming’s vision of putting India on the global gaming map much like its previous Indus trailer launch at New York’s Times Square to mark India’s Independence Day of August 15, 2022.

“As we’ve been making Indus and seeing its gameplay evolve over the year, we wanted to share it with the rest of the world,” says SuperGaming co-founder and CEO Roby John. “This gameplay trailer is for the Indus community the world over that may not have been able to play it with us and to show off the true scale of battle royale that we want you to have when the game is out.”

The trailer entices players to discover, loot, and win on Virlok — the game’s island map, all while showcasing Indus’ weapons, Paragons (the game’s character skins), and traversal. It also highlights multiple locations and firefights with an intent of showing the scope and size of the battle royale experience SuperGaming aims to provide.

You can check out the trailer right here:

 

Indus Pre-Registration Details

Pre-registrations for Indus are now live on the Google Play Store for Android with pre-registrations on the App Store for iOS and iPadOS to follow soon. Pre-registering early will get you exclusive surprises that will make your experience of Indus truly your own.

You can pre-register now for Indus via the Google Play Store.

In the run up to Indus’ release date, SuperGaming will have multiple community playtests through the year. The last community playtest was held at Comic Con Bengaluru which was met with a tremendous response from the community, on an average being overbooked by 50 percent for each playtest slot. Players will be able to share their thoughts on various aspects of the game and impact the direction of how SuperGaming crafts its most ambitious title yet.

The first Indus Community Playtest for 2023 will be revealed soon.

For more on Indus, check out the developer blog as YouTube, Discord, Twitter, and
Instagram for the latest behind-the-scenes updates.

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Asia

SCCG Management Unveils SCCG ASIA – A Regional Campaign Led by Kent Jenkins from SCCG’s New Office in Bangkok, Thailand

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SCCG Management, a leading management advisory firm specializing in the gaming industry, is proud to announce the launch of its new regional campaign, SCCG – ASIA. The campaign aims to provide management advisory services to Casino, iGaming, Sports Betting, and Esports companies in Asia, as well as provide solutions and resources for existing SCCG client partners looking to enter Asia’s gambling market.

SCCG – ASIA will be led by Kent Jenkins, who has been appointed as the Director of the campaign. With decades of experience in international management throughout Asia, Kent brings to SCCG Management a very high level of knowledge and expertise and is well-positioned to lead the campaign from the new SCCG office located in Bangkok, Thailand.

“We are excited to announce the launch of SCCG – ASIA and to have Kent Jenkins at the helm,” said Stephen Crystal, Founder and CEO of SCCG Management. “We believe that the Asian market for the gambling industry is poised for significant growth and we are confident that this regional campaign will help our client partners navigate this dynamic market and achieve success.”

Kent Jenkins said, “I am thrilled to join SCCG and take on the role of leading the regional campaign for SCCG – ASIA. I am eager to work with Stephen and his talented team of industry leaders boasting over 30 years of experience in the gambling industry. I’m excited to utilize my resources and experience to drive growth and success for SCCG in the region.”

SCCG – ASIA will provide a full range of management advisory services, including strategic planning, market analysis, business development and operational support. With a team of experienced leaders from the gaming industry, SCCG – ASIA will empower companies to reach new heights in the Asian market.

The Asian market presents a significant growth potential for companies in the gambling industry as it offers a large customer base due to the continent’s high population, as well as a growing middle class with disposable income. Additionally, the online and mobile gambling market is rapidly growing in Asia, providing opportunities for companies to reach customers through digital channels. Furthermore, some Asian governments are actively encouraging foreign gambling companies by offering tax breaks and other incentives, and some countries are looking to legalize gambling which could open up new opportunities. Overall, the Asian market presents a significant growth potential for companies in the gambling industry.

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Asia

Alvin Chau Sentenced to 18 Years in Prison

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Alvin Chau, one of Macau’s high-profile gambling promoters, has been sentenced to 18 years in prison for racketeering and illegal gambling activities.

Chau was the former chairman of Suncity Group, a Macau-based company that helped promote gambling by lending credit to high rollers. Macau is the only region in China where gambling in casinos is legal.

Chau was ordered by the court to pay the Macau government more than HK$6.5 billion ($830 million) as well as $22.7 million to $98 million to a number of casino operators.

Chau was first arrested in China’s eastern province of Zhejiang on November 2020.

After his arrest, experts said that the move signalled a tougher stance on gambling in Macau by the Beijing authorities.

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