Central Bank Governor Says Banning Online Gambling Would Not Hurt Philippines Economy

While on a business trip to Singapore, the Philippine Central Bank Governor Benjamin Diokno told reporters that banning online gambling operators from the country would have little to no effect on the PH economy. 

Several weeks ago, Chinese President Xi Jinping told Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte that he needs to ban online gambling operators targeting China. President Xi stated that gambling is illegal in China, and online casinos operating from the Philippines are flooding the internet and making it easier than ever for Chinese citizens to wager online.

President Duterte responded to China’s request by saying that online gambling operators that pay taxes are an asset to the local economy and that he would not ban online operators from the Philippines at this time. President Duterte also stated that he would never allow online gambling, but the economy needs additional revenue that is associated around the industry. 

Earlier this week, the central bank governor told reporters, “There are some benefits, in terms of if they pay their taxes, but there are also some risks.” Diokno went on to say that I would rather them leave if I had my way. 

After Duterte’s meeting with the Chinese President, Bank Governor Diokno asked his department to investigate whether or not banning online gambling operators would hurt the local economy. 

Many believe that online operators in the Philippines have been fueling a striving market while boosting the local economy. However, Diokno said that the industry only contributed a few billion in taxes, helps criminals embezzle funds, and illegally recruits workers. 

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) has already stopped issuing Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) licenses and claims that there are only 60 POGO’s operating in the country. 

Philippine gambling laws do not allow PH residents access to online gambling options operating from the Philippines. The only online sites that are legal to PH residents are online sites that operate outside of the Philippines.