Duterte to consider Xi request to ban online casinos
02 Sep 2019

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will study the possibility of winding down the country’s booming offshore gambling industry after Chinese President Xi Jinping raised the subject at summit meeting in Beijing on Thursday.

Known as Philippine Online Gaming Operators, or Pogos, the industry is mainly aimed at China, where gambling is banned, and has become a powerful economic driver in Manila, employing hundreds of thousands of people.

The demand for office space and housing has also boosted Philippine real estate stocks which plunged Friday amid confusion over the future of the industry.

Speaking to reporters in Beijing, Duterte’s spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Xi made an “implied request” to ban online gambling in the Philippines, which Beijing says fuels money laundering and causes social problems in China. “The president most likely will study [it],” Panelo said.

Manila’s gaming regulator last week said it would stop issuing new Pogo licenses, after Beijing hit out at the industry. Earlier this week, Philippine central bank governor Benjamin Diokno said he was studying the economic impact of shutting down the industry.

By Cliff Venzon, Nikkei Asian Review, 30 August 2019

Read more at Nikkei Asian Review

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