Philippines gaming regulator PAGCOR has issued a warning to consumers after it was found that a website originally developed as part of historical celebrations for the US state of Maryland had been hacked and redirected to an illegal gambling website allegedly operating in the Philippines.
According to details provided by the regulator, the web address www.starspangled200.org was printed on almost 800,000 registered vehicle plates in Maryland to promote the state’s history but has instead been taken over by hackers and now redirects to www.globeinternational.info/.
PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Alejandro Tengco said the agency has “nothing to do with the said websites, as well as the gaming activities happening therein,” adding that their existence only serves to paint the Philippines in a bad light.
“As the country’s gaming regulator, PAGCOR does not condone illegal online gambling,” he said. “Engaging or betting on illegal gambling activities is not only a criminal act; it also takes away from the government billions of pesos in revenues which can be used to fund priority programs that will benefit a greater number of Filipinos.
“Hence, we have been continuously working with various government and law enforcement agencies to ensure that our gaming policies are in place and the online gaming platforms that we regulate are safe and credible.
“We have referred this matter to our Security and Monitoring Cluster for investigation. The website was also referred to the appropriate government agency for immediate action.”
The warning comes just days after PAGCOR cancelled the provisional accreditation of an offshore gaming hub at Sun Valley Clark for illegal activities undertaken by a company operating under a POGO (Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators) license.