Philippines fights illegal gambling

Philippines fights illegal gambling

Philippines fights illegal gambling

The Philippines is increasing its efforts to stop illicit online gambling.  In the first quarter of 2024, Globe substantially widened the scope of its efforts by taking down a sizable number of illicit gambling websites.

 More specifically, they blacklisted 1,345 domains, which is an astounding 967% rise over the same time last year. This sudden increase is indicative of a concerted effort to stop illegal operators who do not hold the PAGCOR license required to lawfully offer online gambling services in the Philippines.

Globe blacklisted 260 domains in January, 855 in February, and 230 in March.The spike in blocking efforts is a part of a larger pattern that has been seen in the last several years, with just fifty-two domains in 2021, 396 in 2022, and a significant increase to 4,237 in 2023.

Chief Information Security Officer of Globe, Anton Bonifacio, underlined the serious financial and societal risks associated with illicit online gambling. He pointed out that engaging in such activities could put people at risk for malware, fraud, and other types of criminal activity.  He contends that addressing these risks is both an ethical duty to provide a safer online environment and a legal requirement.

In order to solve this, Globe has spent $2.7 million on innovative technology that improves their capacity to use content filtering and network-level blocking technologies to identify and prevent access to illicit gambling content.

The problem still exists in spite of these intense efforts and large investments.  Unlicensed casino operators find the Philippines to be an appealing spot. PAGCOR Chairman Alejandro H. Tengco acknowledged the limitations of domain blocking as a stand-alone preventive action and stated that working with content providers instead of only trying to ban their domains would be a more successful approach. This suggests that the region’s efforts to combat illegal online gambling could shift in the direction of more coordinated and integrated strategies.

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