The latest regulatory move sees the national watchdog, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), prepared to issue show-cause orders and fines up to $50,000 to any POGO that has let third-party run operations under its own license. The news was first reported by Rappler, a media outlet that cited officials.
PAGCOR Tightens the Noose on POGOs
PAGCOR assistant VP for compliance Jessa Fernandez and Clark Development Corporation CEO Agnes Devanadera said that the new measure is because of a recent incident involving a POGO service provider that had its license revoked. The POGO in question was operating out of Sun Valley Clark and it was found to be in numerous breaches of existing law, although none specified the sub-licensure of its own license as one of the offenses.
PAGCOR has gone after CGC Technologies as a response to an investigation that Sun Valley Clark had been turned into a gaming hub where criminals would go to conduct unlawful business and set up their bases for schemes and frauds involving cryptocurrencies and human trafficking. However, the crackdown on Sun Valley Clark is related to the overall decision to take a harsher stance on third-party sublicensing by POGOs.
The Clark County Security Council spoke on Friday confirming that this issue has allowed criminals to set up shop in the jurisdiction and conduct business out of there, using POGO licenses as a cover. This will now be addressed with the full force of the law. POGOs have long been criticized for their questionable practices and accused of being conduits of social ills and crime.
Crime Bred Out of Unlawful POGOs
Most of this crime has targeted overseas customers, but in the meantime, many of the operators have been involved in human trafficking as they often attract workers from other countries in Asia and then hold them in captivity, offering nominal pay and substance. This form of modern slavery has had a damaging impact on the Philippines’ reputation and it has further exacerbated relationships with its neighbors, notably China.
PAGCOR has also recently responded and issued a public reprimand to a website that had hijacked a domain name of historic significance in the United States to beguile unwitting consumers into gambling with the illegal, unregistered, and in all likelihood – fraudulent gambling operator.