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Philippines Telco Globe blocks over 1K illegal gambling sites in 1Q24

The Philippines is stepping up efforts to block illegal gambling sites, with Telecoms firm Globe alone blocking 1,345 domains in its network in 1Q24.

The number represents a 967 percent year-on-year increase and is indicative of increased efforts to keep out unlicensed operators who do not hold a PAGCOR license to offer online gambling in the South-East Asian country.

The company announced that it had blocked 260 domains in January, 855 in February and 230 in March. Globe is one of the big players in the Philippines telco space and also noted the increase of blocked sites over a longer period of time. Back in 2021, a mere 52 websites were being actively blocked. That number rose to 396 in 2022 and 4,237 in 2023.

Anton Bonifacio, Globe’s chief information security officer, mentioned that illegal online gambling can have “devastating financial and social consequences” and potentially exposes users to fraud, malware, and cybercrime.

“We have an ethical obligation to make the internet safer and are continuing our relentless push to identify and prevent access to these unlawful sites on our network,” Bonifacio said.

The company is utilizing network-level blocking measures and content filtering systems to combat illegal content. It also invested $2.7 million to date in technology that is capable of detecting and blocking illegal gambling content.

Despite the impressive figure, it is just a drop in the ocean, as the Philippines remains an attractive target market for unlicensed operators. This challenge has already been recognized by the local regulator, with PAGCOR Chairman Alejandro H Tengco hinting in a recent AGBrief interview that the way to prevent illegal gambling may not be by blocking domains, but by working with the content providers.

Frank Schuengel
Frank Schuengel
Frank Schuengel is an online gambling industry veteran with over twenty years of experience in Europe and Asia. Equally at home in the Isle of Man and the Philippines, he started his career as a sports trader before setting up and running whole operations, and more recently focusing on the regulatory and licensing side of things in the worlds of fiat and crypto eGaming. When he is not writing about gambling topics, he can be found cycling around Manila and advocating sustainable transport solutions for a Philippines based mobility magazine.



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