Philippines to crackdown on foreign workers in gambling

The Philippines plans to crackdown on illegal foreign workers in the country’s casinos and online gambling industry, according to local media reports.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) will create a task force that will map all foreigners working in the industry and in particular in Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators.

“We will look into the validity of their stay because we suspect that not all may have been issued an Alien Employment Permit (AEP),” Dominique Tutay, bureau of local employment director, told The Philippine Star in an interview.

She said the bureau suspects many of those working in the industry are on a visitor’s visa.

DOLE has met with officials from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp, which has agreed to cooperate in the crackdown, the reports said.

DOLE also proposed that the licenses of gaming firms that employ illegal aliens be revoked.

Under Philippine law, a foreign-sponsored, or owned project, may have up to 20 percent of its workforce as foreign nationals as long as they are doing jobs that cannot be filled by locals.

Tutay suggested that the operators should do more to train Filipinos for the jobs, which often require Mandarin language skills.

Philippines online gambling industry has been driven by an influx of Chinese investment and Chinese nationals.