A Philippines-based online gaming operation has issued a statement defending its right to continue as a licensed Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator after 181 Chinese nationals under its employment were arrested during a raid by local police in Lapu-Lapu City last weekend.
The Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG 7) conducted the raid on the grounds that Xin Huang Jin Cheng Co. Ltd. Inc. (XHJC) was involved in illegal online gambling operations, stating the raid so followed around eight months of surveillance operations.
Responding to the situation, XHJC said it was legally allowed to provide gaming services as an accredited customer relations service provider and insisted it had been issued a certification of accreditation and authority to operate until 22 May 2020 by PAGCOR. It added that the document was signed by PAGCOR chair Andrea Domingo.
However, according to CIDG 7 Director Lito Patay, the issue concerned the fact that authorities investigating the company had been able to enter its website and place bets from the Philippines. By law, POGO operators are only allowed to offer online gaming to foreign-based players.
“We could not obtain a search warrant if we failed to access its website. The website should not be accessible in a Philippine territory,” Patay said.
He also accused XHJC of pretending to be a POGO licensed firm.
“During the surveillance, the company had no permit as POGO. It acted as POGO, competing with other POGOs that pay the right taxes,” Patay added.
The arrested workers have been charged with violating Presidential Decree 1602, the Republic Act 10175 and the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.