China says Philippines should ‘ban all online gaming’
(Philstar.com) – August 21, 2019 – 1:52pm
MANILA, Philippines — China on Tuesday said the Philippines should ban all online gambling as it intensifies its crackdown on offshore gambling and prevent its citizens from being lured into an industry blamed for higher crimes and social problems in the mainland.
“We hope the Philippines will go further and ban all online gambling. We hope it will further strengthen law enforcement with China and jointly tackle criminal activities including online gambling and cyber fraud,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a press conference.
“This will help create an enabling environment for the development of bilateral relations and peace and stability in the region,” Geng added.
Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators, or POGOs, employ more than 100,000 workers — most of whom are from China accommodating Chinese punters overseas.
The influx of Chinese nationals has been pushing up property prices in the capital, with POGOs now seen overtaking call centers in terms of office demand by yearend.
But while POGOs and China’s gambling fever could help the economy, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said some Chinese investors and workers in the POGO industry could be spies, noting that some online casinos are close to key military installations.
The Chinese Embassy said gambling fuels crimes such as cross-border money laundering through underground banking, adding that millions of dirty money from China illegally flows into the Philippines.
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. said it would stop issuing licenses to offshore gaming firms seeking entry, until such time that regulators address all issues plaguing the industry.
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