It looks that the Philippines presidential moratorium on the constructing of new casinos outside of the country’s capital city is coming to an abrupt end. The seventeen-month-old moratorium on new casinos was set by the country’s President Rodrigo Duterte.
According to a report by a local newspaper, the Philippine President has been seen as an enemy of both land-based and online gaming industry especially after he issued a freeze last year in February thanks to which fresh casinos cannot be constructed outside of the country’s Entertainment City district.
After several months, the seventy-four years old politician said that he would like to see the country’s gaming regulator approving more gambling facilities after reportedly generating record revenues. The President reportedly detailed that the Philippines’ government-controlled and owned corporations had generated around $1.19 billion which is a massive rise of 70% when compared to the same period last year.
The President Using His State of the Nation Address
As it was reported, around 32% of the amount which accounts for $313 million came from gambling and casinos. This was the main reason for the Philippines President to consider ending his moratorium on new casinos opening their doors outside the country’s Entertainment City District. A local newspaper stated that the President used one portion of his State of the Nation address in order to salute the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation’s CEO Andrea Domingo before he instructed the PAGCor to allow and subsequently promote more gambling in the country.
When the President was asked for a clarification of his most recent decisions, the Presidential spokesperson Mr. Panelo said for the local newspaper that the President’s decision to lift his ban on fresh non-Manila located casinos is the logical consequence of what the President stated previously. When asked about a possible cabinet meeting, Mr. Panelo said that there is no meeting of things kind yet, but it may be on the agenda in some time.
The Regulator Possibly Lifting the Prohibition
When it comes to the country’s gaming regulator, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation’s official Domingo said that she has not met with the President. Without discussing the President’s comments further, she said that the regulator is not interpreting his recent statements in terms of immediately lifting the ban on non-Manila new casinos. In her official press release, she said that the regulator is still waiting on more detailed instructions and she hopes that everything will be clarified shortly.
Regarding the country’s iGaming industry, Mr. Panelo used a recent briefing in order to explain why the President is eager to allow more legal casinos and gambling. He also added that the President is also eager for the country’s Bureau of Customs to increase collections in order to partially fun rises for different government employees including teachers and nurses. In the same press release, Mr. Panelo said that the President is also eager for the Bureau of Customs to work on improving gambling-related collections.
Nonetheless, as it was reported by the local newspaper, it seems that the country’s Bureau of Internal Revenue is overwhelmed by foreign nationals’ taxes including taxes from multiple offshore online gaming operators. It is estimated that more than 130.000 nationals from China are contracted in the country, so the government is hoping to generate more tax money.