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HomeNewsPhilippinesPAGCOR says no licensed POGO hubs next to US military cooperation sites

PAGCOR says no licensed POGO hubs next to US military cooperation sites

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) stated that they have not issued licenses to any Philippine Offshore Gaming Operation (POGO) sites operating next to Enhance Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) locations.

Alejandro. H Tengco, Chairman and CEO, PAGCOR

“We have not given any license to any companies located beside any EDCA site,” said PAGCOR chairman Alejandro Tengco, according to the Philippine Inquirer.

This comes as the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC) said that “a good number” of POGO sites are located near EDCA sites. Tengco said any POGO site next to an Edca location must be illegal.

Signed in 2014, the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement allows the U.S. to allocate funding to improve and construct facilities within existing Philippine military bases as well as to deploy American troops on a rotational basis.

The two countries identified five bases for the EDCA initiative in 2014, then added another four bases, including the two in Cagayan, in 2023, with several of them located in the South China Sea.

In April 2023, President Marcos allowed the U.S. access to four more Philippine military bases under EDCA, with three of these sites facing Taiwan having irked China.

Tengco also said they had cracked down on illegal POGO activities, reducing the number of accredited “internet gaming licensees” to 43.

National Security Adviser Eduardo Año stated that POGO sites do not yet constitute a “national security threat” requiring military involvement, but rather a concern for police and civilian agencies to handle.

AGBrief Editorial
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