The Chinese government has forbidden its citizens from traveling to the Philippines due to its policy of allowing offshore gaming operations that Beijing has long banned.

Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri, who took to social media on Tuesday, stated that Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Xuang Xilian related this during a courtesy call to him.

In this meeting, he said the Chinese envoy reiterated that the Chinese government is strongly against Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) as it is a gambling form that is hard to regulate based on their experience.

“Ambassador Huang also mentioned that countries, which host online gambling for Chinese nationals, they blacklist some of these countries for Chinese tourists due to safety and security of Chinese tourists in these countries,” Zubiri said.

“Ambassador Huang also mentioned that based on their assessment, Chinese POGO owners and operators are likely to be connected in syndicated crimes and illegal activities, thus they are also wanted in China,” he added.

According to the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), there are 35 licensed POGO operations in the country.

The controversy about their operations rose again after several Chinese were involved in kidnapping cases. The latest was the rescue of a POGO worker who was kidnapped and held in Angeles City, which led to the arrest of Chen Yi Bien, 33, an offshore gaming human resource manager.

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