Gambling operators in the Philippines have been given the go-ahead to continue operations. However, they will be under the supervision of a Philippine National Police special team for constant monitoring. At the same time, the POGOs face a potential ban as Congressman Bienvenido Abante Jr is continuing his fight to ban the industry in full.
Philippine Offshore Gambling Operators must follow the Enhanced Community Quarantine, which is still in place. This order limits travel as well as mass gatherings of individuals. The POGOs have requirements to follow by the Bureau of Internal Revenue as well as the Department of Finance.
If the POGOs do not comply, then they will not be allowed to operate. Many are wondering how the government will keep gambling operators compliant. A special team is in place to check the areas, looking at venues and ensuring they are following all quarantine rules. According to the government, if the operators are found in violation, the venue will be locked up and operations shut down.
POGOs were given permission on May 1st to resume operations, if they followed the strict guidelines that are now in place. This includes limiting employees in an office, providing safety measures to ensure that everyone does not catch or spread the coronavirus. This issue has surprisingly caused a debate as to if POGOs should exist.
In the past, one senator submitted a bill to ban the industry. Senator Risa Hontiveros was unsuccessful in her effort and is now trying again, this time with the help of House Minority Leader Abante. He has presented his own bill to prohibit the operations.
In the bill, Abante calls the operations a social menace and a source of unimaginable corruption. Abante states that the operators are making a mockery of anti-money laundering, tax and immigration laws. It is a source of criminal offenses and crimes.