The Philippines government has made it clear that it wants to promote the casino industry within the country in an effort to attract foreign investment and attract gamblers from Macau, Mainland China, and beyond. The gambling legislation in the Philippines is not very strict and is one of the reasons why the casino industry in the Philippines has grown considerably over the past 24 months.

Chinese fugitive Wang Bo appears to have taken advantage of such laws as he gained access into the Philippines after the Cagayan Special Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) granted him work visa to enter the country. Bo who has bribery and corruption allegations against him managed to secure a job in Makati in a CEZA registered I.T company.

The Chinese government had earlier cancelled Bo’s passport as he was found to have engaged in illegal transnational gambling activities. However, he managed to use his influence to secure replacement documents and made his way to Makati where he used his I.T. company as a front and continued to engaged in illegal online gambling transactions. Authorities in the Philippines have now deported Bo but are concerned that there could be many more foreigners in the Philippines who are engaged in similar illegal online gambling activities.

Rep. Jonathan Dela Cruz stated that it was a cause for concern considering how easy it was for Bo to manipulate the system and laws surrounding online gambling and use it to his advantage. Cruz has called for the authorities to launch a probe into all online gambling operations that are located in special economic zones situated in places like Subic and Sta. Ana, Cagayan. Cruz put together a special resolution 2255 and the House of Representatives have acknowledged his proposal by stating that they will launch a probe into online gambling activities in these special economic zones.

Cruz has said in his Resolution 2255 “Apart from possible violation of immigration, investment and information technology laws and regulations, these illegal gambling operators have also been allegedly engaged in massive tax evasion, gun running and other crimes. One such issue involves the loose and oftentimes conflicting appreciation and implementation of immigration laws, tending to afford officials and personnel of the Bureau of Immigration undue discretion, creating in the process an environment susceptible to pressure and corruption.”

Wang is now back in China and will be tried in a Chinese court of law but his suspicious activities in the Philippines have resulted in a direct probe into criminal activities surrounding the online gambling industry.

 

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