Philippines gaming regulator PAGCOR has applauded a joint police operation that saw 265 Chinese nationals arrested in Manila on Thursday night for allegedly running an illegal offshore gaming operation.
Local media reported over the weekend that the group had been operating an illegal POGO inside a hotel in Las Piñas City before joint operatives from the NCRPO Regional Special Operations Group, Southern Police District and Las Piñas City police station raided the property. Cash totaling almost Php6.5 million (US$128,000) as well as 110 laptops, 467 mobile phones and other equipment was seized.
It is the second such shutdown of an illegal POGO, referred to by PAGCOR as NOGOs, in the space of as many weeks.
In a statement, the gaming regulator cited intensified efforts to crack down on NOGOs, while PAGCOR Assistant Vice President for the Offshore Gaming Licensing Department, Atty. Jose Tria Jr, said it has been easier to track down illegal operators while community quarantine measures are in place.
“These NOGOs are unaware that POGOs which resume operations will undergo thorough evaluation and inspection from PAGCOR,” Tria said. “So we know which specific sites will be allowed to resume operations. Consequently, NOGOs right now are easily identifiable since not all POGO sites will resume operations.”