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Philippines president declares crack down on illegal gambling

Philippines President defines illegal gamblingThe Philippine’s President has defined what constitutes illegal gambling now resources have become available.

President Rodrigo Duterte signed Executive Order No. 13 on February 2, which targets unlicensed operators and gambling syndicates through the clarification of illegal gambling.

Section 2 of the order outlines illegal gambling includes any activity not explicitly authorised by a gambling licensing authority.

This follows the Presidents revelation in 2016, that he didn’t have enough resources to crack down on online gambling since the anti-drug war took prominence.

The Order, which came into effect on February 10, also sets parameters for dealing with illegal iGaming services and to ensure regulators “act within the bounds of their respective mandates.”

The order also states “confusion with regard to the jurisdiction and scope of authority of the different gaming regulators contributes to the proliferation of illegal gambling and gaming.”

It details the extent of power the authoritative bodies have, including the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), the Philippine National Police, the National Bureau of Investigation, and other national law enforcement agencies.

NP chief Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa said he believes illegal gambling can be stopped within six months provided the regulatory bodies work together.

”The Philippine National Police will continue to hit hard on all forms of illegal gambling activities in line with Executive Order No. 13 issued by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte,” he said.

PAGCOR, along with specially created Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA), the Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Freeport Authority (APECO), and the Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB) will be responsible for approving gaming licenses provided they meet the criteria.

Licensed online gambling sites will be able to offer gambling services to international players – locals still aren’t legally accepted yet. Players from around the globe will be able to gamble legally at PAGCOR licensed sites.

The national regulator will also work with these authorities and law enforcement agencies to identify rogue gambling operations, with six-month progress reports required to be submitted to President Duterte.

Around 13 Internet gambling cafés in the Phillipines were shut down, as PAGCOR was ordered not to renew their licenses last year. It was clear the regulator would only issue licenses to Filipino operators which offer their services to overseas players, now confirmed by Order No. 13.

The President has been quite vocal about his anti-illegal gambling crackdown since he assumed his position in July last year. In December 2016, he even went so far to say he would halt all online gambling in his country.

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