A maximum number of officials with the Philippines’ Senate Ways and Means Committee (SWMC) have supported the restriction of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators, or more commonly known as POGOs. This is with regards to the apprehensions surrounding the fraudulent acts that come with the gaming space.
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, who chairs the committee, argues that strong rules are necessary to sustain the country’s economic progress. Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva, Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda, and many more Senators share his support for Committee Report No. 136, which details the outright prohibition of POGOs.
Committee Report No. 136 will be forwarded to the Senate plenary for consideration. Senator Gatchalian mentioned that the core issue will be the deadline for the process of banning POGOs completely. There are two available time frames: either immediate or three months. As for the Senator, he tends to favor an immediate prohibition. Both scenarios leave POGOs in a difficult position.
According to Senator Gatchalian, the absolute need of the hour is to completely restrict the activities of POGOs, as the available data points towards malpractices with regards to POGOs, which also involve human trafficking, cryptocurrency investments, and other fraudulent activities.
With the majority of Senators vehemently backing the ban, there are Senators like Pimentel, Ejercito, and others suggesting certain amendments be made. Senators like Cayetano are inclined towards waiting a bit on the issue, while Senator Tulfo is looking to carry out amendments, keeping the local gaming space in mind. Senator Hontiveros is absolutely rigid about the idea of a total ban on POGOs.
Where Senator Ejertcito is concerned, though his stand is against POGOs, he believes that the phased-out way would be the best option for the operators with due licenses. In contrast, for the others they should be restricted without further ado.
According to gaming news, Senator Gatchalian mulled over the social costs that come with POGO criminal acts. He spoke about the data collected from the Philippine National Police, which spells out the exponential increase in illegal activities with regards to POGOs. He believes that the exorbitant social costs overshadow the scope for income generation.
All of this proves the country’s commitment to safeguarding its citizens and creating a conducive environment for iGaming as a whole.