President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte (Photo: AP/VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte on December 22 ordered the closure of all online gambling companies operating in the country.

Duterte made the order during the signing ceremony of the 2017 budget estimate at the President Palace, saying those companies do not benefit the country.

He said although online gambling is booming in the country, the government could not earn from it as the betting has been done abroad, which means it is not taxable in the country.

Some gambling companies are operating with the old licenses, which allow them to pay only a one-percent tax, compared tothe 10-percent foroneswith the new licenses, Duterte added.

Secretary of Justice Vitaliano Aguirre II said that President Duterte assigned him to probe irregularities involving online gambling.

Meanwhile, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go are drafting Aguirre’s authority in investigating gambling activities.

Aguirre said he is planning to set up a special investigation team instead of delegating the task to the National Bureau of Investigations.-VNA