The Philippines is stepping up efforts to block illegal gambling sites. Telecoms firm Globe alone blocked 1,345 domains in its network in the first quarter of 2024.
The number represents a 967 percent year-on-year increase. It is indicative of increased efforts to keep out unlicensed operators who do not hold a PAGCOR license to offer online gambling in the South-East Asian country.
The company announced that they blocked 260 domains in January, 855 in February, and 230 in March.In the Philippines telco space, Globe is one of the big players. The increase of blocked sites over a longer period of time has also been noted. Merely 52 websites were being actively blocked back in 2021. In 2022, that number rose to 396 and in 2023, to 4,237.
Globe’s chief information security officer, Anton Bonifacio mentioned that illegal online gambling can have devastating financial and social consequences. It can also potentially expose users to fraud, malware, and cybercrime.
He said that they have an ethical obligation to make the internet safer and are continuing their relentless push to identify and prevent access to these unlawful sites on their network.
The company is utilizing network-level blocking measures and content filtering systems to fight illegal content. They have also invested $2.7 million to date in technology capable of detecting and blocking illegal gambling content.
In spite of the impressive figure, it is just a drop in the ocean. For unlicensed operators, The Philippines remains an attractive target market. The local regulator, with Alejandro H Tengco, PAGCOR Chairman, has already acknowledged this. He hints in a previous AGBrief interview that the way to stop illegal gambling may not be by blocking domains, but by working with the content providers.