The Chinese Government has officially added the Philippines to its tourist destination blacklist, due to concerns over illegal gambling activities undertaken by the so-called POGOs.
These Philippine Offshore Gambling Operators have used the relaxed structure of the Philippines’ gaming laws to attract visitors from China, resulting in the country being added to China’s travel blacklist.
In a statement to a Senate Hearing, Juan Miguel Zubiri, Senate President of the Philippines, said: “Ambassador Huang said that the Philippines is now part of a blacklist of tourist sites because they do not know if a tourist will be joining POGO operations and they don’t know if their nationals who go to the Philippines will be safe from illegal activities being done by the triad, by the syndicates operating POGOs. They may also be kidnapped, mistaken as POGO operators.”
Mike Danganan, spokesman for the Association of Service Providers & POGOs, responded by claiming that as many as 23,000 people will lose their jobs should this policy go ahead.