Palace says up to Duterte if he'll ban online gaming
Malacanang said on Wednesday it is up to President Rodrigo Duterte if he would ban online gaming operations in the country following the call of China.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said in Beijing on Tuesday that while it welcomed the Philippines' move not to issue new gambling licenses, it hoped the country would ''ban all online gaming''.
''We hope the Philippines will go further and ban all online gambling. We hope it 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 our bilateral relations and peace and stability in the region,'' the spokesman said.
But Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said online gambling is legal in the Philippines.
"We will have to ask the President on his policy on this," he told reporters in a phone-patch interview.
"We don't know if there is a possibility or there is no possibility," he added.
He explained that currently, online gambling is allowed in the country.
"But I understand Pagcor (Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation) has already stopped accepting all applications, the new ones," said Panelo, also the chief presidential legal counsel.
Thousands of Chinese nationals are working for Philippine off-shore gaming operators (Pogos).
The Chinese Embassy recently called the attention of the Philippine government to address the reported abuses being committed against their nationals by their employers. Celerina Monte/DMS