MANILA – Online gambling firms have been temporarily suspended under the government’s enhanced community quarantine implemented in the whole of Luzon, a Palace official said late Monday night.
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said that aside from malls and hotels, Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) will also be closed until the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) situation in the country improves.
“Hindi naman napag-usapan so pag di namin napag-usapan, then closed. Wala siya sa mga establishments na napag-usapan namin (We didn’t discuss it so if we didn’t discuss then it means it’s closed. It’s not in the establishments we talked about),” he said in a press briefing in Malacañang.
Earlier, senators called for the suspension of POGOs following reports of linked illegal activities such as prostitution, money-laundering, kidnapping, including concerns over the number of foreign nationals who could be illegally working in the Philippines.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo earlier said POGOs may be suspended depending on how “extensive” their alleged violations of the country’s laws are.
Currently, around 60 licensed POGOs continue to operate in the country, with government earning around PHP17 billion from the industry. (PNA)