Philippine Lawmaker Proposes Online Gambling Ban

Published Tuesday, March 10, 2009 -

Operators in the Philippines Cagayan province, under the jurisdiction of the Cagayan Export Zone (CEZ) have the "right to operate or own directly, indirectly or through a third party any tourism related activities including gambling casinos, under priorities and standards set by the CEZA" Port Irene in Cagayan is the only free port legally allowed to run and host online gambling businesses and also license offshore companies.

Recent reports from Manila state that there are those in the country that want all online gambling banned.

The Alliance for Rural Concerns Party representative Narciso Santiago has proposed a bill for legislation to make it illegal for people running a gambling operation to use the Internet or any other interactive computer service to place, receive, or otherwise make a bet or wager; or send, receive, or invite information that may assist in the placing of a bet or wager. The law will not apply to bets placed on live horse races if such wagers are authorized, licensed and regulated by applicable laws. The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office lotto is also exempt if the bets are considered to be totally legal. Lawful bets made on fantasy sports league games are also not to be banned.

Santiago said, in a statement about youth using the internet, "As minors traverse the sites of the web, the possibility of kids being enticed to gamble is high because of the tempting prizes that are awarded, like vacation trips, computers, cars and even cash,"

The new laws will carry strong penalties. Violating the proposed law could cost the participant fines the equivalent of the amount received as bets, or imprisonment for four years, or both.

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