Gov”t to lose P8-B to P10-B yearly
    Once online gambling is scrapped

    CLARK FREEPORT – Philippines Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) chairperson Andrea Domingo said here the government is set to lose some P8 billion to P10 billion per year once online gambling is totally eradicated.

    In a recent forum with the Capampangans in Media, Inc. (CAMI), Domingo said that the Duterte administration does not want a “culture of gambling” in his administration so that Pagcor is now discouraging “standalone gambling.”

    But Domingo said that her agency would instead focus on tourism-oriented casino-cum-hotel projects catering with focus on amusement and entertainment.

    Such is the case in casinos in Las Vegas, as she noted that gambling yields only 20 percent of the income of tourism-oriented establishments there.

    This, even as Domingo also bared ongoing survey of online gaming outfits that operate near schools and churches. “These are up for closure. We are drafting new policies that will be more stringent,” she said.

    “No more new licenses for online gaming are being issued because the President wants to stop gaming activities that develop addiction among youths,” she said.

    Pagcor has recently cancelled 124 licenses issued by the past administration for online gambling. “These are gambling outfits that have not yet put up their stations,” Domingo said.

    Two of such gambling stations have recently been shut down after they were found to have allowed minors access to gambling. “There’s this case of a 17-year-old who was even given VIP treatment because he had money to bet. In the end he lost P200,000,” she said.

    Pagcor lists 434 e-game and 302 e-bingo establishments with licenses, but Domingo said that their licenses are not likely to be renewed.

    “We have a legal network now documenting online gambling. Next week we will meet with various agencies, including the Games and Amusement Board, the police, the National Bureau of Investigation and other agencies to integrate our efforts against illegal online gambling which is difficult to catch because they operate within the internet,” she said.

    At the same time, Domingo said the President wants Pagcor income to be devoted for the health needs of the poor. This is on top of the traditional beneficiaries of Pagcor, such as the Philippine Sports Commission and the Dangerous Drugs Board.


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