The Philippine government is studying the possibility of stopping the online gambling industry and its impact on the economy.
Benjamin Diokno, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) governor, has ordered the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) to “put some sense to this online gambling.”
The companies behind the online gambling, also known as Philippine Offshore Gambling Operators (POGOs), had drawn visitors from China as workers creating a demand for properties and spending.
Online gambling operators pay license fees to the government.
“What if all of a sudden they decide to pack up and leave? What will be the impact of that on the property sector, also the food industry, the restaurants?” Diokno, who also heads the AMLC, told a forum on Tuesday, August 27.
He considered it “part of my job as BSP governor” to look into these matters.
There are many gray areas to the online gambling industry such as scale and its actual impact on the domestic economy. At least 60 POGOs operate in the country, a number critics said an understatement.
Reacting to the question if online gambling companies are fronts to money laundering activities by foreign criminals, particularly Chinese nationals, Diokno said, “not necessarily.”
China had recently launched a crackdown on cross-border gambling. It urged the
Philippine government to ban online gaming in the country saying foreign criminals had used it to launder funds and illegally recruit workers as well. (John Mahusay for Mindanao Sun/ Featured Image: Pixabay)