Philippines Cracking Down on Casinos

The Philippines features major casinos in City of Dreams Manila and Resorts World Manila. However, President Rodrigo Duterte, who’s anti-gambling, is working on measures that would harm casino gaming in the country. Duterte has a history of taking harsh stances against gambling. After being inaugurated in June 2016, he immediately threatened to revoke online gaming […]

The Philippines features major casinos in City of Dreams Manila and Resorts World Manila. However, President Rodrigo Duterte, who’s anti-gambling, is working on measures that would harm casino gaming in the country.

Duterte has a history of taking harsh stances against gambling. After being inaugurated in June 2016, he immediately threatened to revoke online gaming licenses. He never ended up pushing forward, though, because he instead focused on a war against illegal drugs.

Duterte’s war on drugs has seen over 4,000 people murdered, which has Hague’s International Criminal Court investigating. In the meantime, he’s gone back to focusing on gambling.

New Philippines Gambling Licenses Given Cutoff Date

The country’s gaming authority, PAGCOR, has been instructed to stop issuing new gambling licenses after Jan 13. All licenses will be evaluated, at which point a decision will be handed down on which operators will remain.

This puts future casino projects in jeopardy and could make the Philippines a much-less attractive gambling destination moving forward.

Duterte Takes Aim at Casino Projects

Macau-based Galaxy Entertainment Group initially thought that they were approved to begin building a casino on Boracay Island, a popular tourist destination. Casino officials even claim to have received approval from Duterte in December 2017.

However, the president appeared to have a change of heart after stating that he never approved any such requests.

“I don’t have plans there for casinos. There are enough, there is too much – casino here, casino there,” he said.

“Consider Boracay a land reform area. I will give it to the farmers first. I will issue a proclamation that all of the land will be agricultural.”

The last comment is in reference to how Duterte closed down Boracay after a negative environmental report. That said, don’t expect the Boracay casino project to ever get started.

 

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