Duterte targets illegal gambling in the Philippines


Feb. 10 (UPI) — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is cracking down on illegal gambling as he continues to press forward with a nationwide anti-drug campaign that resulted in the deaths of thousands of suspects.

The anti-gambling ordinance is Duterte’s 13th executive order, and was signed on Feb. 2, local news service ABS-CBN News reported Friday.

The instructions from Duterte come as lawmakers in Manila are investigating Jack Lam, a Chinese casino operator, who is suspected of bribing local officials while operating an unlicensed online casino.

Duterte’s executive order defines illegal gambling as any operation that is unauthorized or unlicensed, Philippine newspaper The Inquirer reported.

“The state condemns the existence of illegal gambling as a widespread social menace and source of corruption, as it has become an influential factor in an individual’s disregard for the value of dignified work, perseverance and thrift,” Duterte says in the document.

The Philippines’ gambling agency and provincial authorities in Cagayan, Aurora, and Bataan must report their anti-gambling efforts every six months.

Online gaming operators are also banned from signing up customers who are “outside the territorial jurisdiction of the licensing authority,” the executive order states.

Gambling customers exempt from the ordinance are those who are “persons physically located outside Philippine territory.”

Duterte’s policies have come under criticism since he assumed office in June 2016.

More than 3,000 killings were attributed to his anti-drug campaign, and some killed by police were eliminated in a way that would prevent investigations.

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