Statement of Senator Joel Villanueva on the issue of POGOs and online gambling

PAGCOR needs to step up its game in shutting down POGOs and all forms of online gambling!

The mounting evidence against POGOs, linking them to various crimes such as torture, kidnapping, murder, and human trafficking, demands urgent action from PAGCOR. As the authorized gaming regulator, PAGCOR has unfortunately failed to ensure that these POGO operators conduct their business operations above board. In fact, the POGOs raided in Bamban, Tarlac, and Porac, Pampanga were both ex-PAGCOR licensees found to be running scam operations.

Kung totoong seryoso ang PAGCOR na gampanan ang kanilang tungkulin, hindi na dapat nangyayari ito.

Aside from POGOs, we urge PAGCOR to investigate other forms of online gambling that are easily accessible to anyone with a mobile device. This should be a concern as their attractive advertisements on various social media platforms can entice anyone to play.

This is why we reiterate our call not only to completely ban POGOs but also all forms of online gaming. We call on our colleagues in Congress to fast-track the passage of Senate Bill No. 1281, which seeks to prohibit all forms of online gambling.

There should be no debate that the social costs of gambling far outweigh any benefits. We must put an end to this once and for all.