An Anti-POGO Act has been filed by several Philippines lawmakers in a bid to have Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators declared illegal.
The Act, filed by House Minority Leader Bienvenido Abante Jr, seeks to prohibit the operations of any offshore gaming by any means or device within Philippine territory, according to state-run Philippine News Agency.
“It is therefore declared by the State that Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations or ‘POGOs’ conducted within the Philippines have increasingly become a social menace and a source of unimaginable corruption,” the bill reads.
“It has made a mockery of our anti-money laundering, immigration and tax laws. It has been a source of untold criminal offenses and heinous crimes related to the conduct of such operations.”
Also set to be banned should the bill prove successful would be the creation of POGO hubs, the establishment of gaming labs or the possession of any “gaming paraphernalia.”
The licenses of all foreign-based operators, local gaming agents, POGOs and service providers would be withdrawn, revoked or denied, PNA said.
Filing of the Anti-POGO Act comes after gaming regulator PAGCOR this week allowed POGOs to resume partial operations, subject to strict conditions, in order to boost government revenues during the COVID-19 pandemic.