China has called on the Philippines to issue a blanket ban on all online gambling after gaming regulator PAGCOR declared a moratorium on the issuance of new Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) licenses earlier this week.
Addressing local media at a press conference in Beijing late Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang said that China has “taken note of the Philippine government’s announcement and appreciates it.”
However, he added, “We hope the Philippines will go further and ban all online gambling,” describing it as “the most dangerous tumor in modern society detested by people all across the world.”
According to the Philippine News Agency, Geng expressed his hope that the Philippines “will further strengthen law enforcement with China and jointly tackle criminal activities, including online gambling and cyber fraud.”
PAGCOR on Monday announced its moratorium on the issuance of new POGO licenses until at least the end of 2019 after the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines issued a statement earlier this month expressing its concerns over the proposed transfer of Chinese workers employed by POGOs to self-contained hubs and warned against the illegal inducement of Chinese citizens to gamble either online or in Philippines land-based casinos.
In response to China’s call for a total ban, a government spokesman said on Wednesday that such a decision would be left to President Rodrigo Duterte, adding, “We don’t know if there is a possibility for a total ban or not, we will have to ask the President.”