Friday December 19,2014 : ONLINE GAMBLING INVESTMENT IN PHILIPPINES THREATENED BY CORRUPTION
Press reports allege questionable enforcement actions.
Local media in Manila, Philippines made some startling claims based on rumours in the business community this week, alleging that federal law and immigration enforcement officials have been shaking down local businesses in the online gambling sector, thus threatening investor confidence.
The reports claim that search warrants are too easily granted, enabling corrupt officials to raid at will…and that most of the businesses that have been raided were legitimate enterprises operating with full government licensing and permissions.
One report in the Manila Times states: "National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Philippine National Police (PNP), including the Bureau of Immigration (BI), have been milking millions every month from several service providers of online gaming based in China and South Korea,” implying that enforcement agents are running what amounts to a protection racket.
The reports urge government to launch an investigation into the issue and if necessary tighten up on the systems in place regarding search warrants, along with police decisions on who and when to carry out raiding operations.
The reports note that the Manila customer support offices of William Hill plc, a major and reputable online and land gambling group in Europe, was recently forced to suspend its operations in Manila following an investigation by the Philippines’ National Bureau of Investigation into allegations of illegal gambling activities.
The company has denied any wrongdoing in its Manila office, which handles only customer support.