Mas marami sila: PAGCOR admits more illegal POGOs are operating in PH
By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) has admitted the number of illegal offshore gaming hubs is three times more than of those registered under the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO).
During Tuesday’s hearing at the House committee on games and amusement, PAGCOR acting assistant vice president for offshore gaming and licensing department Jose Marie Tria Jr. said there are about 187 gaming hubs illegally operating in the considering that only 61 were given license by the state-run gaming corporation.
“They (National Bureau of Investigaiton) have verified more than 187 sites which believed to be conducting online gaming illegally,” Tria said when asked by Deputy Speaker Prospero Pichay over the actual numbers of illegal offshore gaming hubs operating in the country.
The House of Representatives finally conducted its first inquiry over the proliferation illegal gaming hubs nationwide, wherein majority of those were being operated by Chinese mainlanders.
A recent Senate inquiry disclosed that a total of P50 billion in withholding income and franchise taxes has not been remitted to the government by a majority of the 61 licensed POGO hubs.
Tria told the House panel that authorities are having a hard time in running over those illegal POGOS hubs since majority of those are located in various residential areas including exclusive subdivision particularly in the National Capital Region (NCR) and nearby provinces.
“These illegally operating sites are small sites. They even operate inside houses only,” said Tria.
Tria stressed that these illegal POGO operators “masquerade as just tourist in one subdivision but in fact they are already conduct illegal online operations.”