A new craze is beginning to grip an increasing number of Filipino kids–it’s the illegal online gambling.
This trend is truly alarming, especially for parents, because these illegal online casinos offer a wide variety of gambling, including live-streaming of cockfighting (sabong), baccarat and EZ 2 lottery of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO).
So, if you thought that online gaming in the country only caters to clientele abroad, think again.
They are rampant in Metro Manila, particularly in Manila but these Internet-based gambling operations have spread to other regions.
My informants uncovered an illegal online casino inside Clark Field in Angeles City, Pampanga, that caters to foreigners and Filipinos alike.
Even more alarming about reports reaching me is that illegal online casino has drawn more and more teenagers, and grade-school kids.
These kids are now hooked on gambling, operated from clandestine “call centers” set up and run from a suite in one of the plush resort-hotels in Clark Field, the former US military base. The youngsters borrow their parents’ credit cards to place their bets.
I actually accessed one of the popular sites, salpukan.com, and it showed options for cockfighting, card games and “last-2” in which you can place bets with your credit cards.
Its owner, known as “Cire Valdez,” reportedly operates most of these unlicensed online gaming groups, financed by six Filipino businessmen.
I double-checked with the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA), which is mandated by law to issue licenses for online gaming in the country, and I confirmed that no license has been issued to salpukan.com.
CEZA ensures that licensed online gaming operations cater only to offshore or clientele overseas like China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea and Malaysia.
The Clark Development Authority, which is also in charge of giving permits and licenses for casinos and other form of gambling inside this special economic zone, proved negative to have authorized Valdez’s online gaming operations.
The PCSO, meanwhile, said only their agency can operate all forms of lottery in the country including the “last-2” or “EZ2” game.
Apart from corrupting minors, Valdez’s operations like the salpukan.com have been apparently cheating the government of millions of pesos in uncollected taxes for several years now since it is not registered with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).
We are, therefore, calling the attention of the BIR, as well as concerned law enforcement agencies like the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) regarding this illegal online gaming called salpukan. com.
This must be stopped before all the minors in this country get hooked on this vice.
Bad eggs ‘spoil’ De lima’s 2016 bid
What’s this I heard that some ranking officials of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Bureau of Immigration (BI) have been involved in another multimillion-peso extortion case involving a prominent South Korean businessman?
Unfortunately, because of these scalawags’ activities, the good name of former Justice Secretary Leila de Lima has been dragged into the controversy, which I hope won’t jeopardize her senatorial bid in next year’s elections.
Also implicated in the case filed at the Office of the Ombudsman is Immigration Commissioner Siegfred Mison, whom we have hailed as the “last samurai” in the fight against corruption.
Kang Tae Sik, 71, president of Jinro Phils., decried the harassment, extortion and business sabotage committed against him over many years, allegedly perpetrated by his former counsels Alex Tan and Roberto Federis, along with their DOJ and BI cohorts.
Of late, Kang claimed the “gang” demanded P50 million so he would not be deported.
This seems to be the reverse of Wang Bo’s case where a fugitive was involved.
In fairness, we await an explanation from Mison.
The case has caused outrage among the South Korean community, South Korean church groups and South Korean Embassy officials, as well as the local business sector of which Kang, a top-Makati taxpayer, has been a prominent member for almost 30 years.
Tan and Federis have also been involved in misdeclared imported beverages and other products from South Korea, informants at the Bureau of Customs said.
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