Pagcor to regulate casino financiers

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    The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) is planning to accredit and regulate casino financiers, following recent reports of an increase in kidnapping cases of players, allegedly perpetuated mostly by loan sharks in casinos.

    Pagcor said it has organized a meeting with licensed casino operators in the Entertainment City and Clark as well with the representatives of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Anti-Kidnapping Group (AKG) and the Bureau of Immigration (BI) to address these casino-related kidnappings.

    “We… intend to accredit and regulate casino financiers subject to the implementing rules and regulations on lending companies by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Securities and Exchange Commission and other regulatory agencies,” the gaming regulator said in a statement yesterday.

    “PAGCOR and the major players in the local gaming industry denounce these criminal acts and we will not sit idly in the face of these injustices,” it added.

    To safeguard the integrity of the gaming and entertainment business in the country, PAGCOR along with its casino licensees will strengthen security protocols.

    The agency said this will be done by enhancing casino surveillance facilities such as facial recognition cameras; enabling information sharing among casino operators on suspected criminals; augmenting security personnel; and constantly coordinating with concerned government agencies such as the PNP, BI, Department of Foreign Affairs and the casino host cities.

    “PAGCOR believes that while gaming contributes significantly to government revenues, it must not be used as a vehicle for abuse and injustices,” the agency said.

    “As the country’s gaming regulator, we condemn these dreadful acts and we will ensure that the local gaming industry will maintain the integrity of its operations,” it added.

    According to a report published by the Philippine News Agency, the PNP-AKG said casino debt-related kidnapping rose to 54, and almost all of the suspects and victims are Chinese.