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PAGCOR and four other agencies intensify drive vs. illegal online gambling

George Miller

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PAGCOR and four other agencies intensify drive vs. illegal online gambling
(From left) PNP-NCRPO Director Guillermo Eleazar, Bureau of Immigration Commissioner Jaime H. Morente, PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Andrea Domingo, Office of the President Undersecretary Jesus Melchor Quitain, Office of Cybercrime’s Officer-in-Charge Charito Zamora and NBI Director Dante Gierran sign the Mutual Cooperation Agreement that will intensify the government’s crackdown of illegal online gambling activities.
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THE Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) has entered into a Mutual Cooperation Agreement with four government agencies in a fight against illegal online gambling in the country.

PAGCOR joined hands with the Philippine National Police (PNP), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Bureau of Immigration (BI) and the Office of Cybercrime (OOC) under the Department of Justice (DOJ) in the creation of an inter-agency council that will handle intelligence gathering, investigations and prosecutions of illegal online gaming activities.

The creation of the inter-agency council was in response to Executive Order (EO) No. 13, s. 2017 issued by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on February 2, 2017 “to strengthen the fight against illegal gambling and to clarify the jurisdiction and authority of concerned agencies in the regulation and licensing of gambling and online gaming facilities.”

The Office of the President, through its representative Undersecretary Jesus Melchor V. Quitain will oversee the implementation of the E.O., which reinforces PAGCOR’s authority to regulate all games of chance, including online gaming, except those regulated by other regulatory bodies to the extent of their respective jurisdictions.

During a press conference held to formalize the agencies’ commitment in the campaign, PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Andrea Domingo expressed confidence that the government will no longer be robbed of billions worth of revenues from online gambling operations.

“We’ve been doing this for the last two years together with the investigative and enforcement arms of the government like the NBI and the PNP. We provide them with the information as well as certification kung sino ang mga online gaming na mayroong lisensya from PAGCOR at kung sino ang wala, sine-certify namin na wala,” said PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Andrea Domingo.

She added that PAGCOR only used to earn an average of P56 million annually from online gaming operations. “When the current management strengthened PAGCOR’s regulatory authority over Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGO), we immediately saw its significant contributions to PAGCOR’s overall revenues. In 2016, POGO operations generated P657 million followed by P3.924 billion in 2017 and P7.365 billion in 2018,” Domingo cited.

Meanwhile, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) Director Guillermo Eleazar, who represented PNP chief Oscar Albayalde in the event, said the information they received from PAGCOR have been very vital in the success of their previous operations against unlicensed online gambling operators.

“All our operations against illegal gambling turned out positive. So we appeal to the public to help us by giving us information and other leads,” Eleazar noted.

The inter-agency council – given the respective mandate of each member-agency — shall be responsible for gathering and sharing of intelligence information on illegal online gambling; exchange information on the developments in their activities; report and centralize data and information gathered on illegal gambling activities; provide manpower for intelligence operations, surveillance, raids, arrest and prosecution.

The council is also tasked to implement their respective investigation procedures including digital forensic examination, gaming license validation, visa certifications and filing of appropriate criminal and administrative charges against online gambling operators.

PAGCOR being the central processing agency of all gathered data is responsible for exercising operational control over the council and its member-agencies. The state-run gaming firm is also duty-bound to provide funds for the projects of the council and its members and provide assistance in accordance with its charter.

George Miller started his career in content marketing and has started working as an Editor/Content Manager for our company in 2016. George has acquired many experiences when it comes to interviews and newsworthy content becoming Head of Content in 2017. He is responsible for the news being shared on multiple websites that are part of the European Gaming Media Network.

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Sasebo Chamber of Commerce Confirms Speakers for August 27th Seminar

Vlad Poptamas

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The Sasebo Chamber of Commerce / Nagasaki Marine IR Promotion Council have confirmed speakers for their seminar to be held on 27 August (Tuesday) at the Fuji International Hotel located in Sasebo City. Speakers will include Mr. Brendan Bussmann of Global Market Advisors, Dr. Glenn McCartney of the University of Macau and the Irish and European Chambers of Commerce (Macau), and Mr. Niall Murray, President of the Irish Chamber of Commerce (Macau). The seminar is expected to attract between 50 and 100 participants including local businesses from throughout Sasebo City, Nagasaki Prefecture and the Greater Kyushu Region. Presentations will include overviews on how the private sector should begin to formulate engagement plans with IR operators, as well as best practices with regards to how other Chambers of Commerce engage with both IR operators and the local business communities.

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Southeast Asian Countries Move Against Online Gambling

Niji Narayan

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Online and phone betting in Southeast Asian countries by punters from China have prompted Beijing to step up efforts to stem cross-border online gambling.

Southeast Asian countries are moving against their lucrative online gambling industries as Beijing clamps down on a practice that has ballooned due to demand from its own citizens.

The Philippine gaming regulator said that it would stop accepting applications for new online gaming operations at least until the end of the year, to review concerns about the burgeoning sector.

Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen has ordered a stop to new licences for online gambling operations. Existing licenses also will not be renewed upon expiry.

The about-turn in gambling policy in these Southeast Asian nations comes as China steps up efforts against what its minister for public security called “the cross-border online gambling problem.”

In the Philippines, more than 50 offshore gambling companies have permits to operate, over a hundred thousand Chinese workers had surged into Manila to staff the industry and property prices near gaming sites were booming.

Andrea Domingo, the Philippines’ gaming agency chair, while announcing the pause in new licenses emphasised that the practice is legal in the country, but that gaming revenue growth may be flat to slow this year due to China’s campaign.

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Cambodia to Ban the Issuance of Online Gambling Policy and Licenses

Niji Narayan

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Photo source: acboulle.org
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The Cambodian Government has issued a directive to stop the issuance of online gambling policy and licenses, both within and outside of Cambodia.

The government said that the industry had been used by foreign criminals to extort money. The southern coastal city of Sihanoukville has emerged as a particular centre for gambling and many of the dozens of Chinese-run casinos that have sprung up there have online gambling operations.

“The Royal Government of Cambodia will stop the issuance of online gambling policy and licenses, both within and outside of the Kingdom of Cambodia, from the date of signing this directive,” said the directive signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen.

“Some foreign criminals have taken refuge in the form of this gambling to cheat and extort money from victims, domestic and abroad, which affect the security, public order and social order,” the directive said.

China is Cambodia’s close ally, its biggest donor and investor. It has also been trying to crack down on cross-border gambling, criticising operations in the Philippines that are similar to those in Cambodia.

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