Duterte Cracks Down on Illegal Gambling in the Philippines

Ivan P. - February 14, 2017

Through his Executive Order 13, which came into effect on February 10, Philippine President Duterte has started his crackdown on illegal online gambling.

As a part of his efforts to put an end to all sorts of social menaces in the country, President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte has now set his eyes on illegal gambling. The Executive Order 13, which came into effect on February 10, outlaws all online gambling except with those operators who have explicit authorization to offer these services to residents of the Philippines.

Tightening the Grip

President Duterte has clearly stated his intentions to restore law and order in the country, and he is best known for his very harsh anti-drugs policy. When it comes to online gambling, the president wants to define the legal framework for such activities, and he's tasked PAGCOR, Philippine gambling regulator, with reviewing applications and issuing licenses to the operators meeting requirements dictated by the laws of the country.

Except for issuing licenses, PAGCOR will closely cooperate with the police and other law enforcement agencies in the country to track down and sanction all online gambling providers operating outside of the legal framework.

A Social Menace

Online gambling has been on Duterte's radar ever since he's taken over the office back in 2016. However, so far, the president didn't have the required resources to address the issue, since the focus was on fighting illegal drugs. The latest Executive Order seems to indicate the situation has changed, and the government feels they now have the required resources to address the issue President Duterte sees as one of the gravest menaces in the Philippine society.

The text of the EO 13 describes illegal online gambling as a source of corruption and an important factor contributing to "disregard for the value of dignified work." While the wording isn't as harsh as with president's statements relating to drugs' sales and abuse, it is clear his government won't tolerate any rogue operations.

Operators that do receive their licenses will be able to offer their services to players outside of the Philippines but will be prohibited from accepting players "physically located outside of the territorial jurisdiction" of the relevant licensing authority.

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