In a joint operation conducted by the Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG) and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), sixteen individuals were apprehended on Wednesday for their involvement in an illegal online raffle on Facebook. The suspects were caught during their 50th raffle event livestream, operating under the Facebook page “Lucky Dream 4” from their office in a Biñan subdivision in Laguna.

PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Alejandro Tengco emphasized that the arrest aligns with the state gaming agency’s commitment to intensify efforts against illegal online gambling. The strengthened collaboration with law enforcement agencies aims to safeguard the public, particularly the youth, from the dangers of illegal online gambling platforms.

“We have been receiving reports of illegal online activities including those on social media platforms. As the country’s gaming regulator, it is our duty to protect the public – especially the youth — from these illegal online gambling sites,” Tengco said in a statement.

According to PAGCOR, the Facebook page “Lucky Dream 4,” boasting 111,000 followers, has been conducting live online raffle games, offering second-hand modified motorcycles as prizes. PAGCOR Senior Vice President Raul Villanueva disclosed that the group has been operating for a significant period, accruing substantial proceeds from their illegal activities.

During a single raffle event, the group could generate up to Php1.8 million (€29,155), selling an average of 40,000 to 50,000 tickets priced at Php40 each (€0.65). “They have amassed over Php8 million (€129,596) from the time they started this illegal online operation because, in one draw, they can sell as many as 50,000 tickets,” said Villanueva, head of the PAGCOR Security Group.

Villanueva also expressed concern over the involvement of youth in the group, with most members being under 27 years old. He underscored that the Lucky Dream 4 group was engaged in illegal online gaming activities and urged them to obtain a licence from PAGCOR if they intended to operate legally.

PAGCOR advises individuals engaged in similar activities to reconsider their actions and register their online gaming operations with the regulatory body. “We advise those who are involved in similar activities to think again. Register your online gaming operations with PAGCOR instead. There will be consequences if you continue to operate illegally because PAGCOR is constantly in touch with law enforcement agencies to ensure that these activities do not proliferate,” Villanueva said.

The recent arrest serves as a strong reminder of the importance of adhering to legal guidelines and regulations in the online gaming industry. As the Philippine government continues to crack down on illegal online gambling, it is crucial for operators to obtain the necessary licenses and operate within the boundaries of the law to ensure a safe and fair gaming environment for all.

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