Philippine lawmaker wants tougher internet gambling controls

    A Philippine lawmaker has proposed a bill to regulate online gambling amid concern over the impact on minors.
    Bill 4540 was filed in the House of Representatives by Samuel Pagdilao though has not yet passed the committee level.
    The measure calls for the imposition of a jail sentence of between five to 10 years, or a fine ranging from P5 million ($115,000) to P10 million, or both, against any licensee or employee of a licensee who knowingly allows a person under 18 years of age to open, maintain or use an Internet gaming account.
    It also calls for a penalty of imprisonment from five to 10 years, or a fine of P100,000, or both, against any parent, guardian or person exercising moral authority over a minor, ward, or incapacitated person, who induces or causes them to commit any of the offenses punishable under his Act.
    “People are no longer bound to physical locations and are able to place their bets from within their own homes,” he said in a statement.
    The bill defines a licensee as the duly licensed holder of an Internet Gaming Certificate authorized by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) Board to conduct Internet gaming.
    Anyone over the age of 18 years is permitted to participate as long as he or she is a registered player and is playing an Internet game offered by a licensee in accordance with the regulations of the board.
    A registered player, under the bill, is defined as an individual who has entered into an Internet gaming account agreement with a licensee.
    Internet gambling cafes are popular across the Philippines. PhilWeb is licensed to operate some 299 of the venues across the archipelago.