Hundreds of Chinese nationals were reportedly arrested by law enforcement officials in the Philippines last week as part of that nation’s continuing crackdown against unlicensed online gaming businesses.
According to a Monday report from Asia Gaming Brief, there are some 60 firms that hold a Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO) license with the vast majority of these thought to be engaged in providing online gaming services to punters based in China. But, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCor) regulator recently implemented a temporary freeze on such certifications bowing to pressure from Beijing over concerns that these enterprises may be illegally targeting players in the planet’s most populated nation.
Asia Gaming Brief cited Fortunato Manahan, Intelligence Chief for the Philippines Bureau of Immigration, as declaring that the arrest of some 342 suspected illegal workers took place on December 19 following the execution of the provisional suspension and was part of an action against an iGaming operator that was alleged to have been operating without a POGO license.
Manahan reportedly stated…
“We had reason to suspect that the company is a front for illegal cyber activities and investment scams. We coordinated this operation with the Chinese government, which confirmed the company’s involvement in illegal activities, victimizing mostly their compatriots in China.”
Asia Gaming Brief reported that the Philippines is hoping to implement a policy from next week that will require all POGO-licensed firms to issue their foreign staff members with identification cards at an individual cost of approximately $78. There are purportedly around 100,000 such workers in the Asian nation and the new policy is being designed so that the government can better monitor, protect and tax these employees.