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PAGCOR regulations ‘ineffective’ vs POGO junket operators – Barbers

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

Surigao del Norte 2nd district Rep. Robert Ace Barbers has expressed concern with the alleged inefficient policies of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) in regulating junket operators under the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO).

In his privilege speech on Monday, Barbers said junket operators are not effectively regulated by authorities especially PAGCOR.

“They are not directly bound to comply with PAGCOR’s registration and reporting requirements,” he said.

Barbers stressed that junket/VIP operators under the POGO system are “not also subject to any sanction” since only the casino operator/licensee is subject to disciplinary action.

Imposable sanction for violation of PAGCOR’s casino regulation on chip washing through junket operations simply carries the penalty of censure. Tthe casino licensee and not the junket or VIP operator shall be given a mere “Letter of Censure” in order to “rectify its violation within a specified time.”

What is “more agonizing,” according to Barbers, is that PAGCOR regulations would be rendered “inutile” if the junket players are allowed to play pending compliance with the registration and reporting requirements.

“Worse, if these requirements are totally disregarded. This is not impossible to happen inside VIP rooms where secrecy is the code of conduct in this secluded environment,” he said.

Barbers warned that gaming hubs under POGO could “revolutionize” the money laundering in the country since its current system is not covered by the present Anti-Money Laundering Law

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