The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) has reportedly approved the re-opening of Fontana, owned by fugitive gambling tycoon Jack Lam, not only as a casino but also as a Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO).
Sources said of Lim’s return to the gaming business after flying the coop three years ago with the backing of former economic adviser Michael Yang and another Filipino-Chinese businessman.
The sources said the POGO operations were already running with hundreds of Chinese workers serving gambling addicts in mainland China with the casino expected to follow soon.
Pagcor officials, however, have neither confirmed or denied this report despite multiple efforts through to get their side for the last week.
Fontana was ordered closed in December 2016 for “illegal or unlicensed gaming operations and employment of aliens without the proper permits in the said premises, in violation of Philippine anti-gambling, labor, and immigration laws.”
Over 1,000 Chinese workers, who mainly served offshore casino players in mainland China, were arrested in a series of raids before Fontana was closed.
A similar crackdown was also conducted on Lam’s Fort Ilocandia Casino and offshore casino which led to its closure.
Lam left the country in November 29 or a few days before President Rodrigo Duterte ordered his arrest for bribery and economic sabotage.