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Online Gambling Bill Proposed in Philippines

Concerned that minors may be finding their way to online gambling websites, a lawmaker in the Philippines has proposed igaming regulations that would levy stiff fines against those found to be permitting the underaged to gain access to such sites.

Rep. Samuel Pagdilao, an Anti-Crime and Terrorism Community Involvement and Support (ACT-CIS) member, has introduced the measure in the House of Representatives. His proposal calls for a five to 10-year jail term or fines of up to 10 million pesos ($230,000) for licensees who knowingly allow those underaged to gamble online.

Under the plan, Bill 4540, operators within the Philippine islands intent on offering online gambling would need to be licensed through the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR). That agency would assume control of regulation, the Philippine Star reported.

Made up of roughly 7,100 islands, the Philippines is dotted with an extraordinarily large number of Internet cafes that are quite popular among children. While some of the gaming offered is of the non-gambling variety, there are currently no safeguards or penalties in place to prevent cafe operators from restricting those under the age of 18 from accessing online gambling websites.

Presumably, the proposal drawn up by Pagdilao would hold the cafe operators who permit underaged patrons to log onto the Internet gambling sites responsible.

The Philippines boasts 100 million citizens, having reached that population milestone over the weekend with the birth of a baby girl named Chonalyn in Manila. One of the fastest growing countries in Asia, the Philippines now ranks as the 12th most populous country.

In November, Typhoon Haiyan wreaked havoc on much of the Philippines, causing extensive damage in a number of regions. The online poker community showed their charitable side by donating $560,078 toward relief efforts, the PokerStars blog reported. Parent company Rational Group matched the $280,039 that poker players donated from their own bankrolls.



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Charles Rettmuller

Charles has been an avid poker player for a number of years, both live and online. He holds a degree in journalism and previously worked as a reporter for a Chicago-based newspaper. Charles joined the PokerUpdate team in early 2012 and writes daily news articles for the site.