Philippine law enforcement undertook a large-scale campaign against illicit gambling from July 1, 2022, until August 15, 2023, resulting in the arrest of over 1,000 people. These revelations were confirmed by the Philippine News Agency, revealing insight on the police’s continued activities.
The goal of the operation was to confront the prevalence of e-sabong, or online cockfighting gambling. This type of gaming was briefly legalized under former President Rodrigo Duterte, but was then prohibited owing to concerns about connected criminal activity like as kidnappings. Although around 34 occurrences of e-sabong-related kidnapping have been documented, the true number may be higher owing to unreported events.
Despite its ban, e-sabong has remained popular, with recent arrests including both those involved in operating and partaking in illicit gaming enterprises.
A police official stressed the comprehensive efforts to combat e-sabong, emphasizing the commitment to protect the rule of law and ensure community safety by reducing unlawful gaming.
The recent arrests underscore the Philippine authorities’ determination to eradicate illegal gambling operations and safeguard their communities from the detrimental impacts of such activities. These developments coincide with a dynamic period in the Philippines’ gambling landscape.
PAGCOR, the country’s gambling regulator and operator, is making strides toward launching an online casino brand, Casino Filipino. This initiative aims to bolster state revenue streams through legitimate gambling channels. Meanwhile, PAGCOR has also taken action against unauthorized offshore operators operating without proper licenses and neglecting their financial obligations.
Furthermore, the Philippines found itself in the midst of a recent incident involving the hijacking of a domain name in the United States. The domain name, connected to the country’s history, was acquired by a casino establishment presumably based in the Philippines, further highlighting the complex interplay between the nation’s gambling activities and international developments.
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