Duterte Looks Closer at the Philippines’ Online Gambling Industry
Gambling has been a hot topic in the Philippines lately. For years, the country’s president, Rodrigo Duterte, claimed he hated gambling. Eventually, he shifted his tone. Now, Duterte is once again taking a close look at the Philippines’ online gambling industry.
It comes immediately after Chinese President Xi Jinping called on the Philippines to stop targeting Chinese gamblers. Let’s discuss what exactly is going on here.
Philippines’ Online Gambling Industry Continues to Grow
The Philippines has one of the fastest-growing gambling industries in the world. It’s an impressive feat, considering the country’s president has worked hard to limit gambling options. For years, Rodrigo Duterte claimed that he “hated gambling.” Recently, he told the media that his fight against the gambling industry was over.
Duterte handed over gambling regulation to PAGCOR, the country’s gaming authority. This government body is responsible for monitoring all gambling activities. It’s also tasked with licensing and collecting money from land-based and online gambling companies.
A huge number of internet gambling websites have begun operating inside the Philippines. Interestingly, many of these companies actively target Chinese players. Gambling is strictly forbidden in China, yet many individuals here to choose to make their wagers online anyways.
China’s President has begun to fight against this. Just last week, Xi Jinping met with Duterte to talk about the gambling industry. He asked the president to stop the Philippines’ online gambling industry from actively promoting to Chinese citizens. Duterte listened and is now working on ways to stop this issue from continuing.
China Asks the Philippines to Ban Online Gambling
It’s clear that China is fed up with gambling sites in the Philippines targeting their country. On Friday, a government spokesperson in China called on the Philippines to completely ban internet gambling. President Duterte claims he’s now considering the idea.
Salvador Panelo, a spokesperson for Duterte, claims the president “will study” the online gambling industry. He also claims that before any decision can be made, the president will need to speak with the country’s Finance Department.
It’s well-known that gambling helps to bring the Philippines millions of dollars in additional revenue every year. Several land-based casinos have recently opened up here and many licensed online gambling websites (POGO’s) are now operating here, as well. Banning the industry would have a significant impact on the Philippines’ economy.
It’s unclear whether or not Duetere will shut down the Philippines’ online gambling industry. If China continues to press the issue, this scenario will become more and more likely to happen.
China’s Ties to the Philippines Gaming Industry
It’s no surprise to see China pushing so hard against the Philippines’ online gambling industry. Today, many of the POGO’s that operate here employee Chinese residents.
Not long ago, China issued a warning to its citizens over the dangers of working in the gambling industry. Many Chinese workers tied to the gaming industry have been kidnapped in the Philippines. As a response, the Philippines police force began assigning officers to casinos and other places associated with gambling.
China has a very strict anti-gambling policy. Those caught gambling here are subject to heavy fines and potential jail time.
That isn’t stopping companies from targeting the Chinese market. Gamblers in China help to bring in valuable revenue for many of the top gambling companies in the Philippines. Xi Jinping is now trying everything he can to stop this from continuing.
We’ll need to wait and see how Duterte chooses to tackle this situation.
Do you think the Philippines’ online gambling industry will be shut down? Let us know in the comments section below!
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