Officials from the Philippine National Police are to meet with representatives from the country’s gaming regulator in order to discuss ways to curb illegal gambling in the country.
The date of the meeting with representatives from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp – also known as Pagcor – is yet to be set, reported on Wednesday the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper. It added that the meeting would also be attended by officials of the government’s Games and Amusement Board.
The media outlet said the Philippine National Police was already conducting an “in-depth study” of the various forms of illegal gambling reportedly taking place in the Philippines.
“We want to thrash out which are illegal and which are not so that the public would know and likewise for our policemen to identify which of these could be subjected to police operations,” police chief Archie Gamboa was quoted as saying.
The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported that the meeting between the police, Pagcor and the Games and Amusement Board aimed to suggest coordination protocols to be observed by the police in its operations against illegal gambling in the country.
The newspaper stated that several police commanders in Metro Manila had been recently sacked for alleged failure in curbing illegal gambling.
Legal gambling in the Philippines, particularly casino gaming, has recorded strong growth in recent years, supported by the opening of new properties. The country’s leader, President Rodrigo Duterte, however ordered a moratorium – dated form January 2018 – on fresh casino projects in the Philippines. Some new projects are still being allowed to go forward on the basis the promoters of those schemes had permission in principle from the regulator prior to the announcement of the moratorium.
According to Pagcor, total 2019 gross gaming revenues (GGR) for all casinos in the country rose 15.4 percent to nearly PHP216.39 billion (US$4.28 billion), from PHP187.54 billion in the prior year. Casino GGR produced by the private-sector casinos in Entertainment City in Manila accounted for 76.4 percent of the overall market, showed the official data.
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