Operations of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) are temporarily suspended while the enhanced community quarantine to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is being enforced in Luzon, a Palace official said.
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said that aside from malls and hotels, the operation of POGOs are also suspended until COVID-19 situation in the country improves.
“Hindi naman napag-usapan so pag di namin napag-usapan, then closed. Wala siya sa mga establishments na napag-usapan namin (We didn’t discuss it so if we didn’t discuss then it means it’s closed. It’s not in the establishments we talked about),” Nograles said in a press briefing in Malacañang.
“It’s not in the establishments we talked about.”
Earlier, senators called for the suspension of POGOs after their links to criminal activities such as prostitution, money-laundering and kidnapping were found. There is also concern over the number of foreign nationals working illegally in POGOs.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo earlier said POGOs may be suspended depending on how “extensive” their alleged violations of the country’s laws are.
There are some 60 licensed POGOs in the country at present, with government earning around P17 billion from the industry.