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Palace: Let Pagcor decide on Pogos

Malacañang on Thursday said it was deferring to the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) to make recommendations on China’s call for the Philippines to outlaw online gambling.

“Let us let Pagcor come up with its recommendations,” said presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo.

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“Under our laws, [Philippine offshore gaming operators (Pogos)] are not illegal. But I understand that Pagcor [has] already stopped receiving applications [for them],” he added.

Earlier, Panelo said he had yet to ask President Duterte’s take on China’s call made Tuesday amid the proliferation of Pogos catering to Chinese gamblers and the resulting cybercrimes and abuses of Chinese workers by their employers.

The Chinese foreign ministry thanked the government for suspending the issuance of licenses for new Pogos but asked it to do more until all concerns have been addressed.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has meanwhile expressed alarm over national security with the proposed establishments of Pogo hubs near military camps.

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