Philippine authorities have broken up yet another Chinese-run illegal online gambling operation.
On Wednesday, Philippine media reported that the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) had detained a Chinese national accused of operating an unauthorized online gambling business from a commercial building in Makati.
Police seized around 100 computers and detained 60 employees of the illegal betting operation. Fifty of the detainees were Chinese nationals, none of whom had valid work permits, having apparently entered the country on tourist visas. The staffers have been turned over to the NCRPO for further questioning and likely deportation.
Zhang Hai Long is listed as general manager of Haoying Solutions Inc, which had registered as a business process outsourcing (BPO) center in the Cagayan Economic Zone but was supposed to be operating from within Cagayan, not in Makati. Haoying also held a Bureau of Internal Revenue permit that expired three years ago.
Zhang has also been charged with possession of what is believed to be a quantity of methamphetamine, which Senior Supt. Eleazar Matta claimed Zhang shared with his employees “to survive the 24-hour work of the company.”
This is the second major bust in as many months involving a Chinese-run illegal online betting operation. In September, the Bureau of Immigration arrested 154 Chinese nationals operating out of the Clark Freeport Zone.
Most legitimate Asian-facing online gambling operators hold licenses issued by the First Cagayan Leisure and Resort Corp under the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority. But the Philippines is in the process of bringing its international-facing online gambling business under the supervision of the Philippines Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).
Earlier this month, PAGCOR CEO Andrea Domingo announced that she had received 76 applications for PAGCOR offshore gambling operator (POGO) licenses and that the first 25 POGO permits would be issued by the end of October.