Philippine Senator Files an Anti-Online Gambling Bill Aiming to Curb Financial Crimes

  • Richard Marley
  • September 21, 2022
  • 2 minutes read
  • 4

Philippine Senator Joel Villanueva filed a bill imposing a ban on online gambling to prevent financial crimes. Acting against Anti-Online Gambling Act will be resulted into severe punishment.

Philippine Senator Joel Villanueva filed a bill to prohibit and penalise online gambling activities in the country. The bill, Anti-Online Gambling Act, is awaiting the response of the legislative committee. He described the bill’s urgency and said, “The consequences of gambling and online gambling are too severe to be ignored,” read the note. “The cost of gambling is no longer limited to the loss of money, but extends to the loss of values and lives.”

He highlighted the bill’s importance and asked for it to be passed “immediately.” “This bill seeks to prohibit online gambling and the placing of wagers or bets through the internet or any form of online gambling activities to prevent further deterioration of morals and values, encourage people to work instead of relying on a game of chance, stop addiction and save lives.”

The bill would introduce punishments for violators. The penalty can be a fine between ₱100,000 to ₱500,000 or up to six months in prison. If someone violates the rules, the maximum penalty can result in five years of experience and a ₱500,000 fine. These penalties and sanctions aim to restrict online gambling in the country due to the significant risk of financial crimes associated with them.

After passing, the bill will be effective within 15 days of publishing in at least two newspapers. Else, it will also be considered necessary for action if posted in the Philippines’ Official Gazette. The department of the Interior & Local Government will supervise and take charge of the contents mentioned in the act. 

The offshore operators in the Philippines industry accept customers from other countries for online gambling, including the countries strictly prohibiting online gambling, such as China. 

These operators, named POGOs, seem the controversy’s basic reasons. Last year, the National Bureau of Investigation generated a report and identified a “clear link” between human trafficking and POGOs.

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