Duterte orders closure of online gambling in Philippines

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Manila, Dec 22 (IANS) Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday ordered the closure of all online gambling companies operating in the country as it continues to leave the government on the losing end.

“I am ordering the closure of all online gaming. All of them. They have no use,” Duterte said during the ceremonial signing of the 2017 budget in Malacanang, the Philippine presidential palace.

However, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II later in an interview clarified that Duterte was referring to online gambling firms and not online games, Xinhua news agency reported.

Duterte said while it appears that the online gambling operations are flourishing in the country, the government does not earn from it as the betting is done abroad which means it is not taxable in the country.

Aguirre said the President had directed him to investigate the irregularities involving online gambling and he is planning to create a team that would conduct the probe instead of just delegating it to the National Bureau of Investigations.

–IANS

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