By Ben Rosario
The vice chairman of the House committee on games and amusements on Friday (May 15) challenged law enforcement agencies to put an end to the operations of so-called NOGOs or non-registered offshore gaming operations in the country.
ACT-CIS Party-list Rep. Eric Go Yap aired this challenge as he commended a joint force of police and immigration operatives that raided a clandestine NOGO in Las Piñas City on Thursday.
At least 265 Chinese nationals allegedly engaged in illegal on-line gaming operations were arrested in the raid. The operatives also seized P6,463,490 in cash, 143 pieces of foreign currency bills, and computers and telecommunications gadgets used in the conduct of the illegal gaming operations.
Yap, also chairman of the House committee on appropriations, said there should be more operations such as the Las Piñas raid.
“We are following these reports. We will make sure that those behind these unauthorized offshore gaming operations are arrested and penalized under the law,” Yap said.
“Aside from the fact that they are conducting illegal gaming operations, they are also breaching the security and health protocols observed during the community quarantine,” he added.
Yap was among the lawmakers who batted for the resumption of licensed Philippine offshore gaming operations (POGOs), saying this would earn government huge amounts in profit that will help maintain the country’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said NOGOs have destroyed the image of legitimate POGO companies, adding that these illegal enterprises also cheat government of tens of billions of pesos in unrealized earnings annually.