Pres. Duterte signs EO to boost drive vs illegal gambling

MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte has signed an executive order intensifying the government’s campaign against illegal gambling in the country.

The Executive Order No. 13 signed by the President last February 2 shall also clarify the jurisdiction and authority of concerned agencies in the regulation and licensing of gambling and online gambling facilities.

“The state condemns the existence of illegal gambling activities as a widespread social menace and source of corruption, as it has become an influential factor in an individual’s disregard for the value of dignified work, perseverance and thrift,” stated in the EO.

“Confusion with regard to the jurisdiction and scope of authority of the different gambling regulators contributes to the proliferation of illegal gambling and gaming,” it added.

The EO also clarifies that the extent of authority of gambling regulators, particularly with regard to online gambling, will not only facilitate the detection and suppression of unauthorized gambling activities but will also help ensure that gambling regulators act within the bounds of their respective mandates, as well as strengthen the efforts of the national government to monitor and collect revenues from legitimate gambling activities.

Under the EO, the Philippine National Police (PNP), the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and other law enforcement agencies are directed to intensify the fight against illegal gambling.

These law enforcement agencies are ordered to coordinate with Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), and Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).

“The same law enforcement agencies are further directed to coordinate and promptly act on requests of gambling regulatory authorities to investigate and put a stop to illegal gambling activities in their respective jurisdictions,” the EO said.

The order also clarified that no duly licensed online gambling operator “shall directly or indirectly allow persons who are physically located outside the territorial jurisdiction of the licensing authority to place bets.”

According to Section 3 of the EO, the qualified online gambling operators “shall not be assigned, shared, leased, transferred, sold or encumbered to any other party.”

The Office of the President (OP), through its duly authorized representative, shall exercise oversight in the implementation of the executive order.

All concerned government agencies and authorities such as Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA), Authority of the Freeport Area of Bataan (AFAB), Aurora Pacific Economic Zone and Free Port Authority (APECO), Bureau of Internal Revenue, Bureau of Customs, Anti-Money Laundering Council, DILG, DICT, and Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) are directed to cooperate and assist the OP in the performance of their tasks and functions.

Section 5 of the order also directs all gambling regulatory entities to submit to the OP a consolidated report on the progress of the war against illegal gambling in their respective jurisdictions within six months.