The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation today said alien hacking and
scam syndicates (AHaSS) are the real threat to national security, not legitimate and
licensed offshore gaming operators called POGOs.

PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Alejandro H. Tengco said legitimate Internet Gaming
Licensees or IGLs generate funds for the government, contributing more than Php5
billion to PAGCOR’s gross revenues in 2023.

“To us, the real threat are the alien hacking and scam syndicates who operate
underground, and they are the ones that our law enforcement agencies are trying to
locate and dismantle,” Mr. Tengco said. “And we are cooperating fully with the
authorities in this regard.”

The PAGCOR chief also appealed to the public to report suspicious alien activities in
their communities, saying that such criminal syndicates are usually armed and

“We should not blame and demonize our licensed gaming operators because these
are closely monitored by PAGCOR,” he said. “Our licensees pay taxes, and they
help provide legitimate jobs and livelihood to a lot of people.”

He said that PAGCOR has imbedded monitoring teams in the physical venues of all
licensed gaming operators, including land-based casinos, to ensure compliance with
the terms of their licenses.

Those found violating the provisions of their licenses are meted fines and penalties
and, in the most serious offenses, the licenses are revoked and their bonds forfeited,
Mr. Tengco said.

“We do not need to outlaw POGOs; what we need to do is intensify anti-crime
operations against suspected alien hackers, against scammers and cyber-criminals
who are usually hiding in highly secured buildings and compounds,” he said.

“These criminal syndicates are not engaged in offshore gaming at all, and even if
they are, they are doing it illegally.

“So they are the real threat, and we must go after them with everything that we
have,” Mr. Tengco said.

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