Close to 200 illegal POGO firms shut down amid crackdown

The Philippines Gaming regulator says that nearly 200 “fly-by-night” Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) have been shut down in the last few months, local media reports.

During a press briefing on Tuesday, PAGCOR chairman Andrea Domingo said the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the police have been conducting raids on POGOs that are suspected to be operating illegally.

“The last count which was a few months ago, they’ve already closed down 170 small operations because these are small, fly-by-night operations. But I think by now they should be reaching about 200 because we get an average of about 10 certifications from NBI and PNP (Philippine National Police) on who they suspect to be illegal,” she said.

PAGCOR halted all new POGO licenses in August after concerns about national security. 

Domingo said that the government was not keen on allowing new POGOs to operate in the country, despite an opportunity to attract more after the prohibition of online gaming in Cambodia.

“As a courtesy and respect for the Chinese government closing down the online gaming in Cambodia, we will not accept any more applications for online gaming. We do not want to be the basin for the fall out in Cambodia. We just want to stand on our own, transparent and fair play. So we will not benefit from it in terms of having more operators,” said Domingo.