PH senator wants a revision of gaming laws

Philippines Senator Leila de Lima has urged the Senate to look into and possibly revise laws governing the online and land-based gaming industry in the wake of recent scandals, local media reports.

In Senate Resolution No. 953, De Lima accused the gaming industry of making the country more “susceptible to money laundering, fraud, and other illegal activities,” citing the Wally Sombero scandal in which he was caught handing bribe money over to two Bureau of Immigration officials in 2016.

De Lima said other than economic impacts, the liberalization of the gaming industry has raised “lingering questions” regarding its social costs.

In the online gambling world, the senator said she was concerned that Filipina dealers may be at risk of sexual harassment and exploitation “because they have to wear revealing clothes.”

De Lima’s comments come a day after the Senate began hearings looking into an increase in Chinese workers in the country’s online gambling industry.

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs on Monday, only 18 employment visas have been granted to Chinese nationals.

Senators, however, estimate there could be at least 200,000 – 400,000 Chinese POGO workers in the country.