The Quezon City Council in the Philippines has passed a regulatory ordinance covering gambling operations in the city. It includes a provision that city residents should pay a PHP1,500 (circa US$30) entry levy per 24-hour period spent in any casino within the city limits, or PHP30,000 per year if such an establishment offers annual membership.
That is according to a statement from Quezon City’s public affairs department, posted online on Monday.
The BusinessWorld media outlet additionally reported – citing Quezon City councillor Franz Pumaren – that the ordinance had been forwarded to the mayor’s office for final approval.
The news organisation also stated that – under the Local Government Code of the Philippines – the city mayor had 10 days either to approve or veto the ordinance. If approved, the ordinance would take effect 10 days after it was publicly posted at City Hall and published in what the news outlet termed “general circulations”.
In March, the country’s casino regulator, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (Pagcor), said the Quezon City government did not have the authority to impose such an entry levy.
Bloomberry Resorts Corp – operator of the Solaire Resort and Casino in nearby Manila – plans to build a new casino resort at Quezon City. In its latest relevant commentary on the project, issued to the Philippine Stock Exchange in April, the casino firm said it was still awaiting the necessary local permits to start work on the scheme.
Quezon City’s public affairs department said in its online statement posted on Monday: “To further strengthen the campaign for the prevention of gambling problems, the Quezon City Gambling Regulatory Ordinance requires… residents who want to play in gambling establishments within the city to pay PHP1,500 for casinos, PHP500 for eGames, PHP100 for eBingos for every consecutive period of 24 hours, and PHP30,000 fee if the gambling establishment offers an annual membership.”
The statement added that a body called the Gambling Regulatory Advisory Council would “evaluate gambling operations” locally, and manage the implementation of the local ordinance “with the assistance of Quezon City Police District, [and] the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp, and conduct random inspections for monitoring and evaluation”.
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”I do not believe that this event [the collapse of a under-construction building in Sihanoukville] will slow down the issuance of [gaming] licences. Market forces will probably dictate the process as developers evaluate projected future demand for gaming in the region”
Senior partner at business consultancy Global Market Advisors