Philippines-facing online gambling operations are gearing up for what officials at the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) are calling, “a word of advice,” regarding proper licensing protocols. In short, the folks at PAGCOR are planning a major crackdown on both unlicensed and licensed online gambling operators who serve the island nation.
PAGCOR’s proposed crackdown is no laughing matter and operators across the spectrum are gearing up for what looks to be a very large, legal hammer that’s poised to drop over their operations.
The warning was posted on Sunday by PAGCOR Chair Andrea Domingo and seemed to come in response to an article that ran in the South China Morning Post. That particular article blamed illegal online gambling operations, which are frequently run by Chinese nationals, for a host of ills including a spike in local real estate prices. Some locals have also complained that illegal (and licensed) gambling operations employ Chinese nationals in favor of locals.
Of course talk of a government crackdown on anything is likely to get some attention in the Philippines. After all, this is a country where tacitly approved extra-judicial crackdowns on drug dealers have led to the killings of thousands of suspected drug dealers and users without trials.
While Chinese nationals do tend to dominate the Philippine-facing online gambling industry, they’re also used as a scapegoat for a host of social ills, as the South China Morning Post article neatly illustrates. PAGCOR is more than happy to use that image in its never-ending crackdown on the perceived evils that gambling brings to the already impoverished nation.