Casino operators in the Philippines want to be exempted from a proposed ban on smoking and drinking in all public places in the country, reports local media outlet The Philippine Star.
The newspaper quoted the president and chief executive of Manila casino operator Travellers International Hotel Group Inc, Kingson Sian, stating that representatives from the casino industry would meet with president-elect Rodrigo Duterte later this month to discuss the matter.
Travellers International – a venture between Philippine-based Alliance Global Group Inc and Genting Hong Kong Ltd – runs the Resorts World Manila casino resort in the Philippines capital.
Mr Duterte has advocated the implementation of a nationwide smoking and liquor ban to protect the welfare of Filipinos. He implemented similar measures in Davao City, where he was mayor prior to being elected president of the Philippines.
In Davao, each business establishment is allowed only one open-space smoking area, covering a maximum of 5 square metres (54 sq feet). Selling alcoholic drinks, and drinking in public spaces is forbidden from 1am to 8am.
There is currently no publicly available timetable for the implementation of similar measures nationwide.
Mr Duterte will be sworn into office on June 30.
Mr Sian told The Philippine Star that many of the visitors staying at casino resorts in the Philippines were smokers and drinkers.
“Hopefully the consultations will support what we’re saying,” Mr Sian was quoted as saying.
Brokerage CLSA Ltd expects gross gaming revenue in the Philippine market to grow 8 percent in full year 2016, it said in a report in April.
Brokerage Daiwa Securities Group Inc said in a note last month that first quarter year-on-year growth in casino gross gaming revenue at casino resorts located in Manila – including in Entertainment City area – had slowed to 6 percent, from the 18 percent expansion seen in the first quarter of 2015.
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