The Philippines’s gambling regulator, Philippine Amusement Gaming Corp (PAGCOR) said in an announcement on Monday that they are temporarily suspending acceptance of any new applications for Philippine Offshore Gambling firms (POGOS).
The announcement came after Chinese embassy in Manila issued a statement hinting crackdown on offshore gambling operators illegally employing Chinese nationals.
Last week on Thursday, the Chinese embassy in the Philippines issued a statement in which it said that “The Ministry of Public Security of China has taken many actions and will carry out more special operations aimed at preventing and combating cross-border gambling.”
Talking about POGOS in her statement to the press, PAGCOR Chief Andrea Domingo said that their organization will “stop first and look at other concerns that we have not met comfortably.”
Last week, responding to the statement from the Chinese embassy in Manila, Domingo said that “There should be stricter screening at the points of getting visas and at the points of entry,”
POGOS remain a significant source of revenue for the Philippines gambling regulator. Pagcor has collected almost P4 billion from POGO operations this year. Offshore operators operating in the country employ about 138,000 workers, and most of them are from China.
In a change of policy, President Duterte in 2016 consented to award licenses to POGO operators in the country. Since then over 50 operators have been granted a POGO license.