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PAGCor Issues Stern Warning to Offshore Gaming Licensees and Service Providers Engaged in Illegal Activities

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The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCor) issued a stern warning to its offshore gaming licensees and accredited service providers to abide by the Philippine laws and strictly comply with PAGCor’s rules and regulations.

The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for PAGCor, Alejandro Tengco, enjoined all licensees and service providers to operate only within the bounds of their licenses or accreditations. They were likewise warned that involvement in any criminal activity shall be dealt with severely, to include the possible suspension and eventual cancellation of their licenses or accreditation.

PAGCor’s warning came alongside the suspension order issued to CGC Technologies (CGC), an accredited offshore gaming customer relations service provider, which was subjected to an inter-agency search operation on May 4, 2023. The operations of CGC, whose accreditation was granted in September 2, 2021, came after the Philippine National Police’s (PNP’s) Anti-Cybercrime Group, the Special Action Forces, the Intelligence Group of the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission and the Inter-Agency Council on Anti-Trafficking conducted a special operation inside the Sun Valley Business Hub in Mabalacat, Pampanga, for alleged credit card fraud, serious illegal detention and human trafficking activities.

CGC was found to be operating six buildings in the site but only two were accredited by PAGCor. Personnel working in the hub are of mixed nationalities including Indonesians, Vietnamese, Nepalese, Bhutanese and Chinese. Raiding authorities were able to confiscate over 1,000 computers and devices from the site, which were subjected to forensic investigation. PAGCor said that once the establishments were proven to be involved in illegal activities, the state-run gaming firm will immediately cancel the company’s accreditation.

Tengco said the crackdown on CGC was a result of the agency’s intensified coordination with the Office of the President (OP), Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Philippine National Police (PNP), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and Bureau of Immigration (BI) to combat illegal activities in offshore gaming operations.

“There is more to come,” Tengco said. “We will continuously subject our offshore gaming licensees and service providers to stricter monitoring.”

Meanwhile, PAGCor also expressed full support to the decision of the DOJ and the BI to order the immediate repatriation of the foreign nationals rescued during the incident. This is a strong showing of PAGCor’s firm stance against offshore gaming licensees and service providers participating in illegal activities.

“PAGCor will continue to work hand in hand with law enforcement agencies to ensure a safe and responsible gaming environment not only for Filipinos but also for other nationalities,” Tengco said. “Only through regulated and responsible gaming can we minimize, if not totally eradicate all crimes that are being linked to gaming activities.”

Asia

AGTech Wins Lottery Terminal Supply Tenders for Shaanxi, Zhejiang and Jiangsu Provinces

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Lottery and integrated technology and services company AGTech Holdings Limited (AGTech) has announced that one of its wholly-owned subsidiaries has successfully won procurement tenders to supply lottery terminals to Sports Lottery Administration Centres in Shaanxi province, Zhejiang province and Jiangsu province of the People’s Republic of China.

AGTech already has previous success in the China market, having won a bid in 2018 for supplying its new dual, touchscreen lottery terminals to the Chinese provinces of Guizhou, Shanghai and Hebei.

Even before this, AGTech introduced new instant win games, launched in partnership with Chinese logistics firm SF Holdings across Shenzen, Nanchang, Changsha and Nanjing.

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Asia

Philippine President Marcos Announces Ban on POGOs

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Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr has banned the establishment of any new Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs), also known as Internet Gaming Licensees (IGLs), with immediate effect. Existing POGO operators will have until the end of the year to wind down their operations.

The verdict, not entirely unexpected, was delivered during his State of the Nation Address in Manila on Monday following widespread pressure from a Senate investigation into illegal POGO-linked activities.

“Effective today, all POGOs are banned. I hereby instruct [gaming regulator] PAGCOR to wind down and cease the operations of POGOs by the end of the year,” Marcos said in his SONA.

The decision to shut down POGOs follows a series of recent raids on illegal POGO compounds in Pampanga and Tarlac amid allegations they had been engaging in human trafficking and scam activities.

A full ban, proposed by multiple senators, had also gained the support of the Department of Finance (DOF) and the National Economic and Development Authority.

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Asia

VSPO Chairman Dino Ying Named Member of the Asian Games Esports Task Force

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VSPO chairman and co-founder Dino Ying has been appointed as one of the three members of the esports title selection task force for the 20th Asian Games in 2026.

The mandate of the task force is “to select and recommend for approval” titles that will be featured at the 20th Asian Games, according to the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA). Hideki Okamura from Japan and Mr. Carlos Tang Jiahe from Hong Kong are the two other members of the task force.

Earlier this year, Ying was already elected as a member of the OCA’s first Esports and E Martial Art Committee.

VSPO, Asia’s largest esports operator, has played a key role in making esports’ entry into the Asian Games a reality. VSPO was the operator for the esports series at both Jakarta Palembang 2018 Asian Games and the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games where esports became first a demonstration sport and later a medal sport.

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