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The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (PAGCOR) has issued a warning to the public not to take part in unlicensed online gambling or bingo games.

PAGCOR said that it was “committed to the prosecution of persons involved in such illegal activities, because of the strong link” between illegal gambling and organised criminals “who are also engaged in credit card fraud, identity theft, [and] money laundering,” among other things.

PAGCOR said it had received information that “certain persons” had been taking advantage of the “uncertainties brought by the Covid-19 pandemic,” in order to “scam your money, steal your financial information, and use your identity for illegal purposes,” via illegal bingo games and Internet-delivered gambling “using Facebook,” a social-media platform, to “promote such illegal activities.”

No person or entity other than those licensed by “PAGCOR and other government agencies” may operate gambling in the Philippines, PAGCOR said.

PAGCOR added in its advice to consumers: “Betting on such illegal gambling activities is also a crime.”