Pagcor to target loan sharks to end casino kidnappings

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation has set its crosshairs on casino loan sharks, which they believe are the cause of the recent spike in casino-related kidnappings, local media reports. 

In a press statement, Pagcor said it is coordinating with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the Securities and Exchange Commission and other regulatory agencies to craft new rules to police the industry.

“Pagcor believes that while gaming contributes significantly to government revenues, it must not be used as a vehicle for abuse and injustices… As the country’s gaming regulator, we condemn these dreadful acts and we will ensure that the local gaming industry will maintain the integrity of its operations.”

The move was in response to recent reports about the rise in kidnapping cases involving casino players.

“In the light of these events, Pagcor organized a meeting with licensed casino operators in the Entertainment City and Clark as well with the representatives of the Philippine National Police Anti-Kidnapping Group and the Bureau of Immigration to address these casino-related kidnappings,” the agency said.

Last week, the PNP announced it is set to deploy at least two of its Anti-Kidnapping Group (AKG) strike teams near casinos with a high prevalence of kidnappings, local media reports. 

Based on AKG data obtained by the Manila Bulletin, there was a total of 53 casino-related cases were reported since 2017.