Get exclusive CAP network offers from top brands

View CAP Offers

Philippine Regulators Defend POGOs

The chairman of The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. defended his country’s hosting of offshore gambling sites known as POGOs as allegations of torture and other crimes swirled around the controversial gambling sites. In statements reported on by the Manila Bulletin, PAGCOR chairman and chief executive officer Alejandro H. Tengco praised licensed POGOs and their contributions to his country’s economy. The real problem, according to Tengco, is an influx of computer hackers and financial scammers.

Tengco’s comments come in the wake of a police raid on a POGO office in Porac that resulted in the discovery of 100 illegal workers. Along with the illegal workers, local authorities found evidence that indicated some of them may have been subjected to torture. This incident was dismissed by Tengco who said, “To us, the real threat is the alien hacking and scam syndicates who operate underground, and they are the ones that our law enforcement agencies are trying to locate and dismantle. And we are cooperating fully with the authorities in this regard.”

Though POGOs are licensed to operate in the Philippines, they’re generally not licensed to operate in the markets they serve, generally China. Tengco dismissed this inconvenient fact while praising the $5 billion PHP ($85 million USD) the operations contribute in taxes each year to the Filipino economy. “We should not blame and demonize our licensed gaming operators because these are closely monitored by Pagcor. Our licensees pay taxes, and they help provide legitimate jobs and livelihood to a lot of people,” he added.