February 19, 2024 2 min read


PAGCOR Shuts Down Illegal Gambling Operation, Arrests 12 People

Raul Villanueva said that the seized devices confirmed the group’s involvement in the operation of illegal online gambling

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) announced that a dozen people have been arrested for involvement in illegal online gaming operations. According to the Philippine regulator, the operation was carried out on February 16 in Parañaque City.

A total of 12 people were arrested in the operation which was carried out by the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO), the Anti-Cybercrime Group of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the PAGCOR monitoring team.

Alejandro Tengco, PAGCOR’s chief executive officer and chair, commented on the matter, saying that the authorities searched a den and caught suspects red-handed while operating the illegal gambling platform The Big Bet (tbb888.com). According to Tengco, The Big Bet offered illegal gambling products, such as slot machines, live casino products and esports bets, among others. 

In addition to arresting twelve people, the raiders also seized eleven computer sets, 21 mobile phones, 2 ipads, 5 laptops and multiple flash drives.

PAGCOR Wants to Eliminate Illegal Competition 

According to PAGCOR’s senior vice president for security and monitoring cluster, Raul Villanueva, the seized devices confirmed the group’s involvement in the operation of illegal online gambling. Villanueva also confirmed that cases will be filed against the suspects before the Parañaque Regional Trial Court.

Villanueva further addressed the matter, saying that the operation was a part of the Philippine authorities’ unified efforts to crack down on illegal gambling activities. He said that the regulator vows to continue working together with law enforcement authorities such as the PNP and the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency to put a stop to such operations.

We are also working closely with the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center under the Department of Information and Communications Technology because we have a lot more targets under surveillance.

Raul Villanueva, senior vice president for security and monitoring cluster, PAGCOR

Villanueva asked the public to stop interacting with and spending money on such illegal platforms and said that, sadly, most of the victims of such illegal sites are Filipino players. He said that consistent monitoring and reporting is needed in order to protect bettors and ensure that revenues from regulated gaming are channeled back to the government.

The SVP concluded that there used to be close to 5,000 illegal online gaming websites operating in the Philippines. Luckily, most of these have already been blocked, he added.


Although Fiona doesn't have a long-spanning background within the gambling industry, she is an incredibly skilled journalist who has built a strong interest in the constantly growing iGaming network. The team at GamblingNews.com is glad to have her on our roster to help deliver the best stories as soon as they hit. Aside from writing, she loves to dabble in online casino games such as slots and roulette, both for her own enjoyment and also as research to better improve her understanding of the industry.

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