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Philippines president rejects calls for gambling ban

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has announced that he will not ban online gambling in the country despite strong pressure from China.

Duterte announced it at a news conference upon his return from a five-day official visit to China, during which he met the country’s President Xi Jinping.

“We decide to benefit the interest of my country. Maybe out of courtesy I will listen to you (China). But I decided that we need it, as a lot of Filipinos will lose their jobs. Anyway, it’s government-controlled,” – said Philippines President.

“There’s not much work in the Philippines. If we have progressed as a country and had many jobs, then you wouldn’t have this stupid thing,” he added.

However, Duterte issued a strict warning to illegal operators active in the country, and warned POGOs (Philippines Offshore Gambling Operators) not to dupe the government by not paying taxes, as the only reason they were permitted was to create jobs.

“Just don’t fool the government. Don’t fool me,” he said.

A few days earlier, Cambodia announced a total shut-down of its online gambling industry, a decision that was warmly welcomed in China. Through Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang Asian giant It claimed that offshore operators are illegally targeting players in China and cheating them out of money. It also alleged that these operators are effectively enslaving Chinese employees.

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