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Saturday, March 2, 2024

PAGCOR, cops unite vs. casino-related kidnaps

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The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. said that its officials held a meeting with licensed casino operators in the Entertainment City and Clark as well as with the representatives of the Philippine National Police Anti-Kidnapping Group and the Bureau of Immigration “to address casino-related kidnappings.”

In a statement released to the media on Thursday,  PAGCOR has noted reports about the increase in kidnapping cases of casino players ‘perpetuated mostly by loan sharks in the casinos.’

At the same time, PAGCOR said that along with major players in the local gaming industry, it denounces ‘these criminal acts and we will not sit idly in the face of these injustices.’

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PAGCOR added that to safeguard the integrity of gaming and entertainment business in the country, the agency, together with casino licensees, will strengthen its security protocols ‘by enhancing casino surveillance facilities such as facial recognition cameras; enable information sharing among casino operators on suspected criminals; augment security personnel; and constantly coordinate with concerned government agencies such as the PNP, BI, the Department of Foreign Affairs and the casino host cities.’

“We likewise intend to accredit and regulate casino financiers subject to the implementing rules and regulations on lending companies by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Securities and Exchange Commission and other regulatory agencies,” the statement also stated.

PAGCOR said that while gaming contributes significantly to government revenues, casinos must not be used as a vehicle for abuse and injustices. “As the country’s gaming regulator, we condemn these dreadful acts and we will ensure that the local gaming industry will maintain the integrity of its operations.”

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