Philippines Deports First Batch of Illegal Chinese iGaming Workers

January 22, 2017 / by: Gray Peterson

According to information released by officials from Philippines Bureau of Immigration, the process of deporting Chinese citizens who were arrested last year for engaging in illegal online gaming businesses has commenced.

Bureau officials confirmed that as from December 20 to January 18, more than 250 individuals have been deported back to China. The Bureau also stated that this operation would see more than 1,000 Chinese residents being taken back to the home country. The Bureau clarified that the process is still ongoing and as soon as the remaining individuals get tickets to China and are cleared by the National Bureau of investigations, they will also follow suit. These illegal Chinese citizens first of all need to obtain clearance certificates to prove that they don’t have criminal charges leveled against them in the Philippines courts of justices.

Philippines police force raided Fontana Leisure Parks &Casino in November 2016 arresting about 1,316 Chinese nationals who were working at the premises without having the required permits and documentations. However, a majority of those detained after the raid claimed that they were illegally recruited back in China and then brought to the Philippines.

Fontana Leisure Parks & Casino is located at Clark Field, a former US air base and is owned by a businessman from China known as Jack Lam. After the police had raided the property, words started to spreading out that an arrest order for Mr. Liam had been issued.  The Chinese businessman was accused of trying to bribe top Philippines officials in an attempt to prevent the closure of his casino resort.

It is reported that by late November 2016, Mr. Liam had fled from Philippines, but word is out that he tried to return and help address the issues which led to the raid and closure of his casino operations. However, Philippines President, Rodrigo Duterte said that the only way Mr. Liam would be allowed in the country is if he accepts to face justice.

When President Duterte stepped into office last summer, he pledged to try his best and curtail all proliferations of iGaming services all over the country. The Raid on Fontana Leisure Parks &Casino by the Philippines police came as part of the ongoing crackdown on illegal online gambling that was started by the country’s top authority.

After several complaints and recommendations which indicated that the Philippines would lose significant amount revenue if they prohibited iGaming in the country, the President agreed to compromise on certain aspects and allowed offshore operators to continue offering their services as long as they set up a physical establishment within the country. Interested companies will have to get licenses from the local regulator, PAGCOR, and make sure that no Philippine’s national will access the iGaming products they offer.

Tagged with: Gaming Industry