Nonoy Amago, an administration employee of Bacolod City, Philippines, is allegedly involved in illegal gambling including operating illegal jai alai games and promoting an online casino in Philippines.
The investigation began after a number of anonymous text messages were received by the local media, disclosing Amago’s affiliation with Meridien Vista Gaming Corporation allegedly owned by the boss of the Atong Ang criminal syndicate.
Evelio Leonardia, the Mayor of Bacolod City, was quick to comment: “There were talks before and through text naming Amago. Arrest him if you have basis and proof. Until now, no arrest has been taken because of the lack of basis to pin down Amago.”
He went on to add: “I am not defending, protecting nor supporting anyone, including him who is allegedly engaging in illegal gambling. Even if they work for me, they have no immunity if they are indeed involved in illegal gambling.”
Philippine gambling laws permit a wide variety of licensed and taxed gaming options, yet Jueteng, the nation’s most popular game, is illegal and remains firmly in the hands of organized crime. The majority of land-based and online gaming operations are run by state owned Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).
One of the exceptions is the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport, which boast large specially constructed gambling halls confined within the area. Only foreign citizens are permitted to play in Cagayan Zone.
Ricardo dela Paz, Bacolod City police director, has been stepping up efforts to battle all forms of criminal activity, especially illegal gambling including underground casinos and illegal internet betting in Philippines.
Dela Paz commented that he received specific instructions from Western Visayas police director, Cepriano Querol, to intensify the campaign against illegal gambling, which was allegedly operating even during the Holy Week. He said: “we will not stop apprehending those involved in illegal gambling.”