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China urges PHL to ban all online gambling

The Chinese government has urged the Philippines to ban all online gambling after the latter stopped accepting applications for offshore gaming licenses until all concerns have been addressed.

“We have also taken note of the Philippine government’s announcement and appreciates it. We hope the Philippines will go further and ban all online gambling,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said in a press conference in Beijing.

He also expressed hope that such move will further strengthen law enforcement with China and jointly tackle criminal activities including online gambling and cyber fraud.

“This will help create an enabling environment for the development of bilateral relations and peace and stability in the region,” said Geng.

Earlier this week, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation said it has started reviewing concerns about Philippine Offshore Gaming Operations (POGO).

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and military officials earlier raised the concern that POGO operations near military camps could be used for espionage.

PAGCOR has also proposed to transfer Chinese online gambling workers to self-contained communities or hubs, prompting apprehension from the Chinese Embassy.

The embassy said it “may infringe on the basic legal rights of the Chinese citizens concerned” as it “strongly urged the Philippine government to effectively protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens in the Philippines.”

It also lamented that a large number of Chinese citizens have been illegally recruited and hired for POGO and Philippine casinos.

“Some Chinese citizens are even lured into and cheated to work illegally with only tourist visas.”

Any form of gambling by Chinese citizens, including online gambling, gambling overseas, opening and operating casinos overseas to attract citizens of China as primary customers, is illegal, the embassy said. —KG, GMA News