The recent announcement by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) regarding the arrest of individuals involved in illegal online gaming operations marks a significant stride in the ongoing battle against illicit gambling activities.

On February 16, a joint operation led by the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), the Anti-Cybercrime Group of the Philippine National Police (PNP), and PAGCOR’s monitoring team culminated in the apprehension of twelve individuals engaged in illegal online gambling activities. The operation, conducted in Parañaque City, targeted the clandestine operations of The Big Bet (, an illicit gambling platform offering a range of unauthorized betting products, including slot machines, live casino games, and esports bets.

Alejandro Tengco, PAGCOR’s Chief Executive Officer and Chair, underscored the significance of the authorities’ swift action, emphasizing that the suspects were caught red-handed while operating The Big Bet. Tengco’s statement highlights PAGCOR’s commitment to upholding the integrity of the gaming industry and protecting consumers from the perils of illegal gambling.

In addition to the arrests, law enforcement agencies confiscated a substantial amount of equipment, including eleven computer sets, 21 mobile phones, 2 iPads, 5 laptops, and multiple flash drives. These seized assets serve as tangible evidence of the perpetrators’ involvement in illicit online gaming activities and underscore the severity of the offense.

Raul Villanueva, PAGCOR’s Senior Vice President for the Security and Monitoring Cluster, reiterated the organization’s unwavering commitment to eliminating illegal gambling competition. Villanueva emphasized that the seized devices unequivocally substantiated the group’s culpability, paving the way for legal proceedings against the perpetrators before the Parañaque Regional Trial Court.

Villanueva’s remarks shed light on the collaborative efforts between PAGCOR and law enforcement agencies to eradicate illegal gambling operations. He emphasized the need for a unified front, with PAGCOR actively collaborating with the Philippine National Police, the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency, and the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center under the Department of Information and Communications Technology.

Acknowledging the unfortunate reality that Filipino players often fall victim to illegal gambling sites, Villanueva urged the public to refrain from engaging with such platforms. He emphasized the importance of vigilant monitoring and reporting to safeguard consumers and ensure that revenues from regulated gaming activities contribute to the government’s coffers.

Villanueva concluded on a positive note, highlighting the significant strides made in combating illegal online gaming in the Philippines. He revealed that the concerted efforts had led to the blocking of thousands of illegal gaming websites, signifying progress in curbing illicit activities within the gaming sector.

PAGCOR’s recent crackdown on illegal online gaming operations underscores the organization’s steadfast commitment to upholding regulatory integrity and protecting consumers from the dangers of illicit gambling. Through collaborative efforts with law enforcement agencies and proactive measures, PAGCOR aims to create a safer and more transparent gaming environment for all stakeholders.

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