Philippine senator introduces bill to ban all online gambling –


Senator Joel Villanueva has introduced a bill in the Philippine Senate that would ban all forms of online gambling in the country.

The bill, titled the Anti-Online Gambling Act, is currently awaiting review by a legislative committee.

In an explanatory note outlining the bill, Villanueva stressed the urgency of the bill, calling for it to be passed “immediately.”

“The consequences of gambling and online gambling are too serious to ignore,” the memo read. “The cost of gambling is no longer limited to the loss of money, but extends to the loss of values ​​and lives.”

“This bill seeks to prohibit online gambling and the placing of wagers or wagers via the internet or any form of online gambling activity to prevent further deterioration of morals and values, encourage people to work instead of relying on a game of chance, stop addiction and save lives.”

If passed, the bill would introduce penalties for those who bet or knowingly receive bets online, up to six months in jail or a fine of between ₱100,000 (£1,520/€1,737 / $1,737) and ₱500,000.

If a company violates the law, a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of ₱500,000 will be imposed on those responsible.

If passed, the law will come into effect within 15 days of its publication in the Philippine Gazette, or 15 days after its publication in at least two newspapers.

The Ministry of the Interior and Local Government, as well as the Ministry of Justice, will be responsible for enforcing the content of the law within 30 days of its promulgation.

Online gambling for customers in the Philippines was only introduced last year, with online operators such as Okada Manila being allowed to launch.

The country does, however, have a thriving industry of offshore operators who accept customers from other countries, sometimes including those where online gambling is specifically banned, such as China. These operators, known as POGOs, have been a major source of controversy, and a National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) report last year found there was a “clear link” between POGOs and the trafficking in human beings.

Last month, Alejandro Tengco, the new CEO of the Philippines Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor), said Pagcor would consider splitting between its roles as regulator and operator.

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