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Online gambling ban sought

TWO members of the House of Representatives want to ban online gambling in the Philippines.

Manila 1st District Rep. Ernix Dionisio and Manila 5th District Rep. Irwin Tieng told reporters on Thursday that easy access to online gambling sites through mobile phones is “hooking the young.”

Dionisio said gambling should be confined to casinos for adults who have money to spare and should not be made available online, enticing the poor and the young.

Tieng said he had written to a major telecommunication company, asking for an explanation why it had been sending text messages to subscribers, enticing them to experience online gambling.

He added that he wants to determine whether the text messages were being sent to subscribers, regardless of whether they were minors.

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The two lawmakers said they were both working on legislations that would “formally and perpetually” ban Philippine offshore gaming operations (POGOs) in the country.

Dionisio said that the harm that POGOs bring to society far outweighs their benefits.

Dionisio added that Senate President Francis Escudero was right when he said that the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. should do its job as a regulatory body and avoid being part of the gambling operations itself.

Tieng said a staggering number of crimes were being committed by people behind POGOs in the country.