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PNP busts illegal online casinos fronting as sari-sari store, repair shop

The Philippine National Police (PNP) raided two alleged illegal online casinos in Laguna's Biñan City, one of which pretended to be a sari-sari store while the other masqueraded as a repair shop.

According to Emil Sumangil’s report on “24 Oras” on Monday, police arrested a total of 15 suspects and seized desktop computers and other equipment used to operate online casinos during the simultaneous operations.

Neither shop had a license nor documents from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) authorizing them to operate as virtual gambling establishments.

“Nakikipag-coordinate tayo sa PAGCOR at nalaman natin na wala pong kaukulang papel na para po ma-cover itong dalawang illegal online casino,” said Laguna PPO Provincial Director Police Colonel Randy Glen Silvio.

(We coordinated with the PAGCOR and discovered they have no papers covering the two online illegal casinos.)

“Based sa mga na-arrest natin, kumikita sila ng P3,500 a week. Kung matalo 'yung isang dayo nila ay bibigyan sila ng 50%. So, kung matalo 'yung isang mananaya ng P1 million, bibigyan sila ng P500,000,” he said.

(Based on the arrests, they earn P3,500 weekly. If a player loses, they get 50%. So if someone loses P1 million, they’ll have P500,000.)

Players would only need to click the links the operators sent to access the illegal online casino, Silvio said.

“Mayroong master agent at mayroon siyang mga ahente na kung saan naghahanap ng mga players sa online casino. Mayroong website na pupuntahan at pwede ka na tumaya doon,” he added.

(There’s a master agent and he has agents who find players. They can gamble through a website.)

For its part, the PNP Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG) said the links were related to the text scam messages plaguing the country.

“Mayroong mga text blasts, eh. That's one way. And it can also be in the form of emails, pwede rin yan o mga social messaging applications. We constantly monitor... we do cyber-controlling. Tulungan ang mga telcos, ACG as well the ICT and other counterparts para once and for all, ma stop itong mga fraudsters na to,” PNP-ACG Spokesperson Police lieutenant Michelle Sabino said.

(There are text blasts. That’s one way. And it can also be in the form of emails or social messaging applications. We constantly monitor... we do cyber-controlling. The telcos, ACG, ICT, and other counterparts are working together to stop these fraudsters once and for all.) — Sundy Locus/DVM, GMA News