POGOs industry will face stricter regulatory process
Earlier, the Philippine national gaming regulator authorized the POGOs industry to resume partial operations conditionally. Operators are allowed to carry out the operation within certain limits, but only if they comply with the health measures and the recommendations issued by the government to effectively stop the spread of the Covid-19. After that, PAGCOR issued a statement warning all licensed operators that the government will gradually implement stricter gambling laws, especially for foreign brands that offer online gambling.
Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in the Philippines, the country’s medical system has been overwhelmed. The government and regulatory agencies began to shut down the gambling industry’s operations in mid-March 2020. First, there are all physical gambling operators, followed by POGOs. PAGCOR made it clear that the regulator has no right to arrest those who violate the regulations. But this does not stop the regulators from conducting more thorough inspections of known venues to ensure that they are truly in line with the industry’s national interests. Due to the limitations of the country’s laws, PAGCOR has no police powers. Therefore, it cannot arrest or prosecute illegal gambling activities.
Even if the POGOs industry resumed partial operations to allow the Philippine government to raise more funds and help to provide financial assistance to the medical system on the verge of collapse. PAGCOR issued this announcement after Joseph Bernos, chairman of the Games And Amusements Committee, urged regulators to take a stronger stance on the offshore non-regulated industry. Illegal gambling operators called NOGOs will now face stricter actions by government agencies. Not long ago, PAGCOR invested USD100,000 to establish a special compliance and monitoring center as part of the Ministry of Justice and the Office of Cybercrime.
Now, NAGOs will be pinched by many units working together. The participating units include: Philippine National Police, National Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Immigration and Office of Cybercrime. PAGCOR’s Chairman Andrea Domingo recently said that since the suspension of POGOs operations in March, they have deprived them of USD12 million in potential monthly income. In January, POGOs faced the pressure of the Covid-19 outbreak for the first time. At that time, the government ordered all high-risk employees who entered the country to accept a 10-day self-quarantine.