A Philippine legislator is proposing the country adopts a Singapore-style entry levy for casinos.
Representative Peter Unabia has submitted a bill to Congress proposing that all Philippine nationals pay a PHP3,500 (US$80.5) casino entrance levy to be allowed inside the country’s casinos.
The bill is pending with the House Committee on Games and Amusements. It was originally filed on August 11.
Mr Unabia is a member of the ruling Liberal Party of President Benigno Aquino.
He said in the bill’s explanatory note that the measure would prevent “financially inadequate” people to gamble inside casinos. “The imposition of an entrance fee will discourage the locals from gambling in casinos,” the explanatory note adds, quoted by local media.
The full text of the bill was not available on the website of the Philippine Congress when this story was published. It is not clear from local media reports whether the proposed fee would be per 24-hour period, and whether there would be the option for Philippine nationals to pay an annual entry levy allowing year-round access.
Singapore imposes on its citizens and permanent residents a statutory entry fee of either SGD100 (US$80) for 24-hour access, or SGD2,000 for a year’s entry but is content to give foreigners free access. Japan is mulling an entry levy on casino visitors were casino gaming to be legalised in the country.
Casino legislation in the Philippines states that residents must have a gross income for the previous year of at least PHP50,000 to be allowed to play in the casino, Mr Unabia stressed.
“In reality, however, this requirement is neither observed nor imposed,” he said.
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”We expect Goa to quickly become a US$1 billion market as it transitions to land-based casinos (from US$150 million today), which is still just a fraction of India’s total GGR potential of US$10 billion to US$17 billion”
Analyst at Union Gaming Securities Asia