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PAGCOR: POGO operations in compounds no longer allowed

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) on Wednesday said that it will no longer allow the operations of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) within large spaces and compounds.

PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Alejandro Tengco made the announcement at a Senate hearing after he was asked by Senator Sherwin Gatchalian to make an assurance that there will be no POGO-linked crimes in the country. 

“We’re coming out with certain guidelines. We’re already banning hubs. In the meantime that wala pa namang (there is no) order ng closure, this early I can inform everybody that we will not allow any hub existing or going to be applied for, we will not approve it anymore,” Tengco said.

According to the PAGCOR chief, POGO operations will now be “site specific” and “building specific” unlike in the POGO compounds in Bamban, Tarlac and Porac, Pampanga that were raided by authorities for alleged illegal activities within these establishments.

Tengco said he cannot assure that POGO will no longer commit crimes, but they will ensure that the 43 remaining licensed POGO firms will follow PAGCOR’s new guidelines and “enhancements.”

Further, Tengco said they will create teams that will monitor the POGO firms 24/7 in a bid to “deter” these criminal activities. 

Tengco also assured that his agency will abide by the decision of the President if he will choose to ban POGOs in the country.

Several lawmakers, including Gatchalian, have been calling for the total ban on POGOs amid its risk to the country’s peace and order. —RF, GMA Integrated News