The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp has launched a crackdown of illegal online gaming operations in the country, local media reports.
More than 170 illegal operations have been raided in the first half of 2018, with “hundreds” detained.
Many of the illegal operations are employing undocumented Chinese workers. There are estimated to be about 100,000 Chinese working in the online gaming industry, the reports said.
Pagcor began issuing Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator licenses, known as POGOs, as part of a revamp of the country’s online gaming landscape after the election of President Rodrigo Duterte. This year, the regulator expects the licenses to generate as much as PHP6 billion ($110.4 million) in tax revenue.
Demand from online gambling firms has been driving up property prices in the capital Manila, which is now spilling over into other areas of the country.