Philippines: Duterte rejects China’s call to ban Philippine online gambling

  • Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on 4 Sep 19 that while he was not a fan of online gambling he was not willing to ban the business, as China has urged, because of the risk to the country’s economy.
  • “We decide to benefit the interest of my country. I decide that we need it,” Duterte said in a televised news conference but gave a stern warning to online gambling operators to pay fees and taxes.
  • But most employees in the online gambling companies, known as Philippine offshore gambling operators (POGOs), are Chinese citizens, according to the Philippine-based website, Rappler.
  • POGOs are a boon for the local economy, drawing many visitors from China, raising demand for property and retail spending. The POGOs, which bar Filipinos from playing, contribute to national coffers through licence fees.
  • The Philippine gaming regulator has issued licences to 60 online gambling companies.
  • But on 19 Aug 19, Manila banned licences for new online gaming firms, as lawmakers and some ministers have called for tighter controls on Chinese visitors, saying many are illegal workers whose presence fans security concerns.
  • Except for state-run lotteries, gambling is banned in China, forcing many of Chinese gambling companies to move overseas.
  • Aside from online gambling, the Philippines has also attracted tens of thousands of Chinese gamblers who play at its casinos in the capital Manila and elsewhere.

External Link :