THE Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) warned the public from accessing fake online gaming sites that try to “mislead” them that they are connected with legitimate licensed offshore gaming in the country.
Pagcor Chairman and CEO Alejandro H. Tengco said on Tuesday that the fake online gaming sites pose risks to the public’s personal and financial information.
Tengco added that Pagcor has already endorsed the results of investigation and monitoring of dubious websites to pertinent agencies such as the Philippine National Police, Department of Information and Communications Technology and the National Bureau of Investigation.
“So far, we have been able to shut down most of these illicit websites; but some of them are able to immediately create new ones so we really need the public’s cooperation and vigilance to help us weed out these scammers,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.
Tengco said Pagcor is also sustaining its efforts and engagements with law enforcement agencies and electronic payment service providers in exploring the possibility of blocking payments made to and from illegal gambling websites.
“In coordination with the NTC (National Telecommunications Commission), we will also continue to follow up on illegal sites that have not been blocked or taken down,” he said.
“Another option is to create a landing site to redirect bettors to a website that will warn them about illegal sites that they are accessing,” he added.
To combat the proliferation of illegal gambling in the country, Pagcor continuously coordinates with various law enforcement agencies, Tengco has said last July. It has instituted reforms to address Philippine offshore gaming operators that have been recently associated with crime, money laundering and corruption, he added.
Tengco said Pagcor has canceled the contract entered by the previous Board with a third-party auditor for offshore gaming operations and has introduced new fees and imposed heavy fines and penalties to Licensees and Service Providers found to be engaged in criminal activities. Furthermore, accreditations were suspended and canceled and Licensees were held responsible for the conduct of their Service Providers.
Despite these, gross gaming revenue of online gaming operations is projected to reach P24 billion by the end of this year, more than double last year’s P11 billion.
“We shall undertake this painstaking process to weed out the unscrupulous companies and individuals using the Pagcor license for illegal activities, tainting the name of the whole industry and most especially the Philippines,” Tengco said.