The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) has advised the public to stay alert due to the rise of unlicensed online gaming websites using the PAGCOR logo to mislead users.
On Tuesday, PAGCOR chairman and CEO Alejandro H. Tengco released a statement warning Filipinos to exercise caution when accessing online gaming websites as fake websites may pose risks to the personal and financial information of the user.
PAGCOR said it has forwarded the results of its own investigation and monitoring efforts to the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT), and the National Bureau of Investigation.
"So far, we have been able to shut down most of these illicit websites, but some of them are able to immediately create new ones so we really need the public’s cooperation and vigilance to help us weed out these scammers,” Tengco said.
Tengco said other steps being taken include continuing engagement with law enforcement agencies and electronic payment service providers to explore the possibility of blocking payments made to and from illegal gambling websites, which he said has been proven effective in the US and Singapore.
"In coordination with the NTC, we will also continue to follow up on illegal sites that have not been blocked or taken down," he said. "Another option is to create a landing site to redirect bettors to a website that will warn them about illegal sites that they are accessing."
For her part, Jessa Fernandez, PAGCOR Assistant Vice President for Offshore Gaming Licensing Department, said PAGCOR is taking all necessary steps to address the issue and called on the public to immediately report "any unauthorized use of our logo or misrepresentation of accreditation."
"We urge the public to check our list of licensees before accessing these sites and to immediately report any illegal offshore gaming operations. You may also report suspected activities and websites through our POGO Hotline 09278098610 or online," she concluded.