Philippines gaming regulator PAGCOR has promised to cancel the licenses of any offshore gaming operators that engage in illegal activities after a licensed POGO was this month shut down for alleged credit card fraud, serious illegal detention and human trafficking activities.
The agency sent out an alert late Thursday in which it revealed a suspension order has been issued to a company called CGC Technologies (CGC), an accredited offshore gaming customer relations service provider which was the subject of inter-agency search operation in early May.
The operation, conducted by the Philippine National Police’s (PNP’s) Anti-Cybercrime Group, the Special Action Forces, the Intelligence Group of the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission, and the Inter-Agency Council on Anti-Trafficking, found that CGC Technologies was operating six buildings on its Pampanga site in Clark, when only two were accredited by PAGCOR.
Authorities confiscated over 1,000 computers and devices from the site, which are currently subject to forensic investigation, while CGC’s license is inline to be revoked.
PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Alejandro Tengco said he fully supported a decision by authorities to repatriate foreign nationals rescued during the operation, which included Indonesians, Vietnamese, Nepalese, Bhutanese and Chinese.
“We will continuously subject our offshore gaming licensees and service providers to stricter monitoring,” Tengco said.
“PAGCOR will continue to work hand in hand with law enforcement agencies to ensure a safe and responsible gaming environment not only for Filipinos but also for other nationalities. Only through regulated and responsible gaming can we minimize, if not totally eradicate all crimes that are being linked to gaming activities.”
PAGCOR’s response comes amid calls from some politicians for the government to crack down on the POGO (Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators) industry.
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, a long-time opponent of POGOs, claimed in March that the “POGO experiment” had failed to provide the economic benefits it had promised and instead “created new avenues for crime and corruption, damaging our country’s reputation among diplomatic allies, foreign investors, potential tourists, and even our own countrymen.”
The regulator responded shortly after by insisting the POGO industry was here to stay but promised to “uphold the integrity of the gaming industry in the Philippines, including offshore gaming,”