Philippines to shut 175 offshore gambling firms


As part of a fresh crackdown on illegal online gaming, the Philippine Justice Ministry has announced that it will stop operations of 175 offshore gambling firms and deport around 40,000 Chinese workers.

Over recent years, operators have capitalised on the Philippines’ liberal gaming laws to target customers in China, where gambling is outlawed. At its peak, the Philippine offshore gambling operators – known as ‘POGOS’ – employed more than 300,000 Chinese workers.

Justice Ministry spokesperson, Jose Dominic Clavano, explained that those ‘POGOS’ targeted for closure have licenses that are either expired or revoked. But not everybody is happy with this latest move, as the Philippine Finance Ministry say that government generated PHP7.2bn ($122.21m) in 2020 and PHP3.9bn ($66.3m) last year in ‘POGO’ fees alone.