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PAGCOR’s raid leads to 12 arrests over illegal online gaming

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The Philippines’ gaming regulator has uncovered an illegal online gaming operation in Parañaque City, resulting in the arrest of 12 individuals.

PAGCOR's raid leads to 12 arrests over illegal online gaming

According to a statement released on Friday, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) announced that it conducted a month-long surveillance operation targeting illegal online gaming activities within an exclusive subdivision in Parañaque City.

The arrests were made by the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) and the Anti-Cybercrime Group of the Philippine National Police (PNP), in collaboration with the PAGCOR monitoring team.

PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Alejandro H. Tengco stated that the illegal gaming site had been offering games such as slot machines, live casino, and e-sports. Authorities seized eleven computer sets, 21 mobile phones, 2 iPads, 6 laptops, and several flash drives from the suspects.

An onsite examination revealed that the confiscated devices contained evidence of the group’s illegal online activities, said PAGCOR Senior Vice President for the Security and Monitoring Cluster, Raul Villanueva.

The raid took place inside BF Northwest Subdivision, an affluent enclave whose residents include some of Parañaque’s most prominent political and business leaders.

Villanueva confirmed that cases would be filed against the suspects before the Parañaque Regional Trial Court.

“This operation was part of our unified efforts to intensify the fight against illegal online gambling, as we have a directive from PAGCOR Chairman Alejandro Tengco to put a stop to these illegal activities,” Villanueva said.

“We will continue to collaborate with law enforcement authorities such as the PNP and the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency to halt these activities,” he added.

“We advise the public to refrain from patronizing illegal online gaming sites and instead use legal platforms to protect themselves. Unfortunately, most victims of these illegal sites are Filipino bettors.

“We are also closely cooperating with the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center under the Department of Information and Communications Technology, as we have identified many more targets under surveillance,” he concluded.

PAGCOR's raid leads to 12 arrests over illegal online gaming

Nearly 4,000 illegal online gaming sites blocked

Villanueva noted that at one time, nearly 5,000 illegal online gaming sites were operating in the country, but 80 percent of these have already been blocked.

“We need to consistently monitor and report them to authorities, not only to protect bettors but also to ensure that revenues from regulated gaming are channeled back to the government for its nation-building programs,” he emphasized.

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