POGOs in the Philippines are nearing elimination

POGOs in the Philippines are nearing elimination

The Philippines is actively pushing ahead with its efforts to clamp down on POGOs (Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators), getting closer to its goal of eliminating these offshore gaming entities from its jurisdiction.

The problems caused by so-called POGOs have been under investigation by the Philippine Senate for quite a long time, and it now appears as if the country has started taking steps toward eliminating this controversial sort of gambling. The Senate Committee on Ways & Means have already expressed its desire for all POGOs to vacate the country, and this sentiment is largely concurred with by most senators.

A recently published report from the committee, which looks at the pros and cons of POGOs, has received a lot of support from senators, who have long been asking the government to stop POGO operations right away.

At least 10 out of the 18 committee members have signed on a plan to force POGOs to vacate the country, and Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, who has been working for months to get rid of POGOs, is one of them. Like many others, Gatchalian wants the government to make changes to the Philippine Amusement & Gaming Corp (PAGCOR).

The push to get rid of POGOs follows after a lot of criminal activity in the Philippine gaming industry. According to Senator Gatchalian, more than 4,300 individuals have been victims of crimes related to POGOs in the past six years, and the crimes were committed by the same 903 people. The list of those crimes includes serious things like human trafficking, abduction, and manslaughter.

Even President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. admitted that POGO operations are causing too many problems in the country, though he also said that the issue is with illegal POGO operators, not the licensed ones. Many of the today’s illegal POGO companies were previous licensed.

Nevertheless, there is not unanimous support for the sudden, mandatory departure of POGOs. Senator Juan Edgardo Angara, for instance, has disapproved the Senate committee's report that calls for the immediate shutdown and departure of all POGOs. According to Angara, the proposed three-month timeframe is just unreasonable for legitimate POGOs to wrap up their operations, particularly given the huge investments they have made in the country. The senator also emphasized that POGO operators came to the Philippines in response to the country's invitation, and expelling them forcefully would be unjust.

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