PAGCOR Confirms Raided Gambling Supplier Has Accreditation

May 19, 2023
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The Philippine gambling regulator has confirmed that a Clark Freeport company raided over alleged scam operations and enslavement of some 1,100 foreign workers is an approved service provider to offshore-facing gambling operators (POGOs).

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The Philippine gambling regulator has confirmed that a Clark Freeport company raided over alleged scam operations and enslavement of some 1,100 foreign workers is an approved service provider to offshore-facing gambling operators (POGOs).

PAGCOR said in a statement late on Thursday (May 18) that CGC Technologies, the company raided on May 4, is an “accredited offshore gaming customer relations service provider”.

It added that the company was authorised to operate in only two of six buildings that it was using in the Clark special economic zone when raided by multiple enforcement agencies.

PAGCOR has suspended CGC’s accreditation as its investigators probe the company, amid orders from the justice and immigration authorities to immediately deport the company’s foreign employees.

The justice department also launched a probe into the company on Monday, while Clark Development Corp, the overseer for business operations in the economic zone, ordered a formal shutdown of CGC operations at the Clark Sun Valley Hub compound.

Police had previously identified the raided company as Colorful and Leap Group Co. The relationship between this entity and CGC has not been clarified.

PAGCOR chairman and CEO Alejandro Tengco warned the regulator’s slate of POGO licensees and accredited service providers to expect tighter controls following the incident.

“Marami pang susunod [there’s more to come],” he said. “We will continuously subject our offshore gaming licensees and service providers to stricter monitoring.

“PAGCOR will continue to work hand in hand with law enforcement agencies to ensure a safe and responsible gaming environment, not only for Filipinos but also for other nationalities.

“Only through regulated and responsible gaming can we minimise, if not totally eradicate, all crimes that are being linked to gaming activities.”

The freeing and repatriation of at least 1,162 workers is the largest rescue operation involving online gambling interests in the history of the local industry, although it was not immediately clear if the CGC operation’s focus was scamming customers or involvement in online casino activity.

The incident has given new impetus to anti-gambling forces in the Senate, with several more prominent senators calling for a new committee investigation into human trafficking in the Philippines and its nexus with POGO licensees and/or the many more business process outsourcing (BPO) companies that enjoy PAGCOR accreditation.

The CGC workers were predominantly Vietnamese, Chinese and Indonesian, with a smattering of labour sourced from other Southeast Asian nations, Nepal, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

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