PAGCOR says ex-cabinet official trying to intercede for POGOS

Sat | 6.29.2024 | 11:30 AM

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation today said a former high ranking government official tried to facilitate the grant of gaming licenses to some of the illegal POGOs that have been recently raided and found engaged in illegal activities.

PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Alejandro Tengco also said those investigating the suspicious activities of former POGO licensees must likewise look into the role of former officials and their conduits in the grant of licenses to POGO applicants with dubious backgrounds.

The PAGCOR chief said he will reveal in the proper forum the identity of the former Cabinet member who had been lobbying for the illegal POGOs, as well as the circumstances that led to the proliferation of illegal and criminal offshore gaming operations.

“As a regulator, it is our mandate to ensure that only those with valid licenses are allowed to operate all forms of gambling and gaming activities, whether these are land-based casinos or online platforms,” Mr. Tengco said.

“It is in the interest of the government to crack the whip against illegal operators, including the so-called offshore gaming operators or POGOs and their backers, because the criminal activities associated with their illegal operations pose serious threats to our people,” he said.

The PAGCOR chief explained that the current administration has been doing its part to weed out illegal operators, resulting in the significant decrease in the number of licensees from 298 during the previous administration to only 43 licensees now.

“What we need to question, in the first place, was how those 298 POGO licensees were able to secure their licensees in the past because clearly, during our cleansing process, we found most of them to be ineligible and outright suspicious,”

“We are also ready to reveal the roles of other controversial individuals behind these criminal POGO enterprises,” he added.

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