Mr. Kin Wan might not be a household name like scores of celebrities and business tycoons, but he has garnered some notoriety in the news. The notoriety is of the notorious variety. Wan is being called by detractors the “king” of illegal gambling in the Philippines.
Wan’s endeavors in the world of online casino operations are huge. Currently, the empire he built in the Philippines comprises around 50% (Yes, half) of the online gambling found in country. Unlike the other 50% of the online casinos, Wan’s are not legal enterprises.
In order to operate in the Cagayan Economic Zone Administration (CEZA), an online casino must have a valid, legitimate license. Based on certain sources, it is believed the gambling king does not have any such license. As a result, the online gambling establishments he runs are not considered legal.
Operating without a license is a serious matter. For one, the revenue generating to the local government via licensing requirements is not paid. Needless to say, the taxing and licensing authorities surely do want to procure all the funds owed. Oversight of the gambling industry costs money and being shorted on those funds creates budget and other woes for the authorities.
Those who enjoy playing online games might not care about whether or not the online casino is licensed. What do they care as long as the casino does what it promises? The answer to that question is found in the question itself. The casino might not deliver on promises because there is no oversight ensuring the casino does what it promises. Granted, a casino does have to embody good customer service whether it is licensed or unlicensed. All casinos want their customers to come back. Yet, the specter of a lack of accountability exists when a casino lacks a legitimate license to operate.
Won’s casino holdings in the Philippines have run into some trouble with government enforcement authorities. The office of “The Happy Wing and Oriental Group” (the entities the online casinos operate from) was raided by Philippine immigration authorities. The company had been employing a number of workers who were in the country without legal work permits. Due to hiring undocumented workers from China and not holding the proper license, the offices were shut down.
This did not lead to the demise of the company or the online gambling empire. One would think that being shut down by government agents would end operations, but such was not the case at all. Within a relatively short period of time, the online casino entity was back running at fully operational strength. For many, this would be a very surprising development.
News agency has reported that the amount of money generated by internet gambling plays an obvious role in the difficulties associated with enforcing the law. One newspaper basically stated that the money from online gambling makes members of the industry extremely powerful and with great resources at their disposal. Problems with the government end up becoming annoying inconveniences as opposed to major, serious setbacks.
The accusations levied at Kin Won by the media remain accusations. That is to say, the government has not filed any official charges for violations of immigration and labor laws. Whether or not that will change in the future is speculative at best. News reporters have been very brutal in the assessment of Won. In the various reports, he is referred to as being “guilty” and not “innocent until being proven guilty”.
Of course, those notions are based on the laws of the United States and not the Philippines. Apparently, civil laws are a bit different as well since no lawsuit has been forthcoming from Won against the press.
Could the press be trying to build up pressure against Won? A series of blistering news articles could very well lead to the authorities taking more direct and punitive action. The press throughout world history has successfully prodded law enforcement time and time again. Maybe the news reports coming out of Manila could yield such results. Once again, it may take time to see if any such results do manifest.
When online gambling first arrived on the global scene, very few countries new how to issue licenses nor properly oversea operations. In time, as a greater understanding of the industry emerged, certain nations barred online gambling while others embraced it. In the Philippines, online gambling is legal and many multi-national entities set up operations in the country. Commerce then flows from all over the world or, more accurately, from parts of the world in which gambling with a computer is allowed.
Those not operating with a license in the Philippines and also not sending the necessary funds to the office of the governor are supposed to be shut down. What the future has in store for Mr. Won will surely be revealed in the press as new developments emerge.
Internet gaming, licensed or unlicensed is always going to thrive. People do enjoy gambling and they also enjoy conveniences. Online gambling services are able to provide both and do so 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all 365 days of the year.