The government continues to tighten its noose around the offshore online gambling operators (Pogos) in the country.
The vice-chair of the country’s committee on games and amusements has now announced that all foreign workers in the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) industry will be issued with Gaming Employment License (GEL) identification cards. He also said that the identity cards would be issued by January next year.
The Philippine News Agency has also reported Ang Probinsyano Representative Ronnie Ong demanding stricter implementation of the Id system to help immigration and law enforcement officers ensure that all workers in the country’s offshore online gambling sector are legal entrants with regular work permits.
In the Philippines, Pogos have been associated with increased crime and employing illegal workers mainly from mainland China.
Commenting on the need for identity cards ONG said: “We cannot pretend anymore that the POGO industry is small. We should have a system to monitor them. That’s why we are pushing for the GEL ID.
“The recent kidnapping incident of POGO workers in Makati [could have been prevented] if we have a monitoring system and if they have GEL ID.
“Also, this GEL ID will benefit the country because if we can monitor them, they will be able to pay the right taxes.”
Earlier in the week, the Philippines National Police (PNP) Anti-Kidnapping squad said that the crimes related to casinos and online gambling in the country have increased in 2019.
There were 42 cases of kidnapping related to casinos and Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (Pogo) between January and November 2019.
Of the 42 cases, the Anti-Kidnapping Group has said that 6 are related to offshore online gambling operators and the remaining 36 are linked to casinos in the country.