Illegal Online Casinos Targeting the Philippines on the Rise

Globe Telecom Inc., a major telecommunications firm in the Philippines, has reported a 967% increase in the number of domains blocked for hosting illegal gambling content in the first quarter of the year compared to a year ago. It also represents significant jumps in the numbers seen over the past few years.

The Philippine flag flying on a pole outdoors. (Source: Unsplash)

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During the first quarter of 2024, the company successfully restricted access to 1,345 domains across its network. Starting with 260 sites in January, the number almost quadrupled to 855 in February before slightly decreasing to 230 in March. This pattern suggests a growing trend in the establishment of illegal gambling platforms, necessitating a more robust and proactive approach to enforcement.

Related: Multiple Arrests Made during Illegal Online Gambling Raids

Looking back at the previous years, the increase is even more pronounced. From a mere 52 sites blocked in 2021, there was an almost eightfold increase to 396 in 2022. This exponential growth can be attributed to various factors, including the advancement of technology, the accessibility of the Internet and the anonymity it provides, making it easier for illegal operations to flourish.

The domains that were blocked hosted a variety of illegal gambling content, ranging from unlicensed online casinos to unauthorized sports betting platforms. These sites often operate outside the legal frameworks and regulatory oversight, posing significant risks to consumers, including exposure to fraudulent activities and potential financial losses.

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Globe Telecom's aggressive stance against illegal gambling is part of a multifaceted approach that includes network-level blocking mechanisms and advanced content filtering systems. The company has invested over $2.7 million in developing a sophisticated infrastructure capable of swiftly detecting and restricting access to illicit websites. This infrastructure is crucial in the fight against not only illegal gambling but also other nefarious online activities, such as child pornography and online piracy, which are equally detrimental to consumers.

The Philippine government has been vocal in its warnings against illegal online gambling sites, which are often hotbeds for scams, including credit card fraud and identity theft. In response, Globe Telecom has ramped up its efforts, working in tandem with government agencies to ensure that the public is only accessing licensed online-based games.

As part of its comprehensive strategy, Globe Telecom has also been actively involved in digital literacy campaigns aimed at educating users about the risks associated with illegal online gambling. These campaigns are designed to empower consumers with the knowledge to identify and avoid untrustworthy sites, thereby reducing the likelihood of falling victim to online scams.


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