November 21, 2023 2 min read


Philippines Crack Down on AEPs in the Wake of POGO Trafficking Incident

The government will assess AEPs following a recent human trafficking case

The Philippine authorities continue the crackdown on Philippine Online Gaming Operator-related crime. Previously, authorities busted an illegal POGO operation that was involved in human trafficking and found that a number of local police workers may have been involved.

In the wake of the raid, the Philippine Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) will undergo a thorough assessment of the Alien Employment Permits (AEPs) which allow foreigners to work for local gambling operators and companies.

As a result, the DOLE will look into as many as 42,000 foreigners working for POGO companies and take punitive action if it learns that some of them are involved in crime. The department warned that people who have participated in fraudulent activities risk the cancelation of their AEPs or even prison time.

Senate Members Proposed Blanket Ban on POGOs

The action comes amid intense calls for a crackdown on POGOs and the review of AEP workers. The Philippine Senate recently underscored the importance of a blanket ban on offshore operators.

Senator Joel Villanueva slammed the POGOs, saying that these companies should not be allowed to operate and freely offer their services when their licenses have been revoked. The head of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, Sherwin Gatchalian, on the other hand, said that POGOS should be kicked out from the Philippines as soon as possible.

The Philippines has a serious problem with AEP-related fraud as foreign criminals would oftentimes obtain their permits illegally and then buy a password. This creates a dangerous internal threat for the Asian country and has prompted the authorities to act.

Incidents often involve illegal gambling, human trafficking and gun crime and sometimes end in killings. A recent attack, for example, left two people dead and one severely injured. Authorities believe that the attack might also be related to POGO-related crime.

In the meantime, the Philippine government continues its efforts to exit the FATF grey list.


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 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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