About Face: Philippines to Ban Online Gambling

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has announced his intention to outlaw online gambling in the Southeast Asian country. Duterte revealed the plans while presenting a budget for 2017, but did not place a timescale on when the ban would come into effect.

According to local media outlet Inquirer, Duterte said online gaming companies “have no use” in the Philippines. “I am ordering the closure of all online gaming (firms); all of them,” Duterte said.

The declaration comes after Duterte in August cancelled an operator’s 13-year monopoly on gambling in licensed cafes, citing the fact that the country has no proper way of collecting taxes from internet gambling and a rise in the number of youth participation as the reasons behind the move.

“I was mad because even the youth are gambling and there was no way of collecting the proper taxes,” Duterte said at the time, according to the RT.com website.

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