Sunday, June 23, 2024
HomeNewsPhilippinesPAGCOR: foreign crime syndicates, not POGOs, are the real danger

PAGCOR: foreign crime syndicates, not POGOs, are the real danger

So called alien hacking and scam syndicates (AHaSS) are a bigger threat to national security than POGOs, according to Philippine gaming regulator PAGCOR.

Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) Chairman and CEO Alejandro H. Tengco emphasized that legitimate Internet Gaming Licensees (IGLs), formerly known as Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs), are beneficial for the government, contributing over PHP5 billion ($85 million) to PAGCOR’s gross revenues in 2023.

“The real threat comes from the alien hacking and scam syndicates operating underground. Our law enforcement agencies are actively working to locate and dismantle these groups,” Tengco stated. “We are fully cooperating with the authorities in these efforts.”

The PAGCOR Chairman also urged the public to report any suspicious alien activities in their communities, warning that these criminal syndicates are typically armed and dangerous.

“We should not blame and demonize our licensed gaming operators, as they are closely monitored by PAGCOR,” he said. “Our licensees pay taxes and help provide legitimate jobs and livelihoods to many people.”

He mentioned that PAGCOR has monitoring teams embedded in the physical venues of all licensed gaming operators, including land-based casinos, to ensure compliance with their license terms.

Violators of license provisions face fines and penalties, and in severe cases, license revocation and bond forfeiture, according to Tengco.

“We do not need to outlaw POGOs; instead, we should intensify anti-crime operations against suspected alien hackers, scammers, and cyber-criminals hiding in highly secured buildings and compounds,” he said.

“These criminal syndicates are not engaged in legitimate offshore gaming, and if they are, they do it illegally. They are the real threat, and we must pursue them with all available resources,” the official concluded.

“So they are the real threat, and we must go after them with everything that we have,” PAGCOR’s head said.

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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