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Philippines to Look at Illegal Web Bets

The Philippine House of Representatives has announced a resolution to look at illegal online gaming in special economic zones, including Subic and Santa Ana in Cagayan.

The resolution, authored by Rep. Jonathan de la Cruz, will study “the reported proliferation of illegal gambling operations in the country in the guise of gaming and information technology operations manned mainly by foreigners.”

The official says illegal online gaming may have violated “immigration, investment and information technology laws and regulations,” and also have allegedly been linked to gun-running and other crimes in addition to tax evasion.

The alleged violations came to light during the Good Government Committee’s investigation of bribery and corruption allegations aimed at Chinese fugitive Wang Bo. He entered the country through a work visa issued by the Cagayan Special Economic Zone Authority, even though Chinese authorities had issued a warrant for his arrest and canceled his passport for alleged transnational gambling activities.

In his resolution, de la Cruz said he is concerned by the “seeming ease with which companies, especially those engaging in so-called ‘new and improved information and communications technology systems,’ get to be registered by the Securities and Exchange Commission and subsequently by the special economic zones.”

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