China issues warning to Philippines over treatment of its citizens
The Chinese Embassy wants more to be done to protect the rights of Chinese citizens who work in the Philippine’s offshore gaming industry.
Gambling is illegal in China, apart from state-owned lottery operators, so many citizens seek out offshore online casinos. The Philippines now has 57 licensed online gambling operators, with much of their business coming from China.
As a result, Filipino operators have been recruiting Chinese nationals to cater to the growing demands for Mandarin (and other Chinese dialect)-speaking staff. The majority of these work as croupiers in live-streamed and virtual casino environments targeting Chinese gamblers via the internet.
But the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines is concerned about the treatment of these workers, who are normally housed in “segregated” communities or hubs, fearing this may infringe on their basic legal rights. In some cases, employers don’t apply for the necessary work permits for their Chinese employees, according to the embassy.
The Philippines Gaming regulator PAGCOR has defended the self-contained gaming hubs used to house Chinese workers, claiming they are intended to protect those living inside.
“We value and protect the rights and safety of foreign workers in the country in as much as we want the rights and safety of Filipino overseas workers to be valued and protected,’’ said PAGCOR chair Andrea Domingo.
She added that the ‘self-contained communities’ place no restrictions on the personal rights or liberties of the workers. ‘’They are free to go wherever they may want to, do whatever they may want to, within the limits of the law.”