China President Xi Jinping has reportedly decided to take the bull by the horns after President Rodrigo Duterte ignored his request to ban Philippine Offhsore Gaming Operations (POGOs).
A source said thousands of Chinese nationals working for POGOs got the shock of their lives when their passports were cancelled by the mainland government.
The source said Chinese POGO workers were informed by the China Public Security Bureau which told them to return to China and show proof to the police that they were not working in the POGO business.
The Chinese POGO workers would be blacklisted from getting a passport if they do not report back to China.
The source said a downside to Xi’s action was even Chinese traders in Manila have been affected by the sweeping order to cancel passports of suspected POGO workers.
During a bilateral meeting in Beijing in August 2019, Xi requested Duterte to ban POGOs that mainly serve gamblers in the mainland. Xi felt that Duterte’s order for the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) to impose a moratorium on the grant of POGO licenses (currently at 60 but Pagcor has no control on how many sub-licensees are awarded by POGOs) was not enough.
But Duterte has stood firm on allowing POGOs to continue because the country “would lose many jobs.”
But Senator Win Gatchalian noted over the the last two years that POGOs have grown exponentially, the government has gained very little in taxes and revenues while prostitution, kidnapping, and corruption have flourished.
China’s embassy claimed that POGOs have become a conduit for money laundering which has undermined China’s financial supervision and financial security; a large number of Chinese citizens have been lured into illegal gambling which has resulted in an increase of crimes and social problems in China; and many of the Chinese citizens working illegally in POGOs have been subjected to “modern slavery” with their passports taken away or confiscated as well as torture, kidnapping and murder.