The President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, said that the government had no plans of putting a ban on the online gambling industry in the archipelago. This announcement was made after the Philippines received pressure from China, that was demanding the country to stop online gambling activities.
Duterte said that the decision was in relation to what benefited the Philippines the most. He further mentioned that the internet gambling was a needed industry in the country. He stated that in a televised news conference with various media outlets last Wednesday.
In the conference, the country’s leader said that he and the President of China, Xi Jinping, had had discussions about those issues and matters of cross-border gambling when they had met last week. Duterte further mentioned that online gambling was one of the major job providers in the country, and that the tax contributions of those facilities was significant for the Philippine economy.
Duterte issued a warning to casino operators, even to those who are operating illegally. He said that those operators had not to make the mistake of not remitting their required taxes, or they would be shuttered.
On August 19, the head of the country’ gambling authority said that the governing body would not accept any more applications for licences. This is specific to those that are catering to off-shore customers. These gambling facilities are known as Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators, or POGOs for short. This decision was important to give the authority enough time to study the various concerns of the public related to gambling.
China and its authorities have been urging the Philippine Government to ban all online gambling facilities here. On August 20, the spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Geng Shuang, said that China was aware of the Philippine gambling authority’s decision to stop accepting new applicants for online gambling. He mentioned that the Chinese authorities were hoping that that was the beginning of a full ban on online gambling.