MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte has mobilized government agencies against illegal gambling, which he described as a “social menace” that breeds corruption.
The President’s order came as lawmakers investigated allegations Chinese junket tycoon Jack Lam tried to bribe Philippine officials to allow him to operate an illegal online casino.
The police and the National Bureau of Investigation were directed to “intensify the fight against illegal gambling,” in coordination with the departments of justice, interior and local government, and information and communications technology.
Duterte signed the executive order, his 13th since assuming office last year, last Feb. 2.
“The State condemns the existence of illegal gambling as a widespread social menace and source of corruption, as it has become an influential factor in an individual’s disregard for the value of dignified work, perseverance and thrift,” the President said in the document.
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. and administrators of economic zones in the provinces of Cagayan, Aurora, and Bataan were directed to report on the progress of their efforts against illegal gambling every six months.
Online gaming operators were barred from transacting with customers who are “outside the territorial jurisdiction of the licensing authority,” according to the order.