Philippines President Duterte axes all online gambling in the country, or maybe not

In a sweeping move seen as the reversal of an earlier pledge to allow online gambling operations in the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the plug pulled on all online gambling in the country.

After signing the General Appropriations Act of 2017 on Thursday, December 22, Duterte announced,
“I am ordering the closure of all online gaming, All of it. It has no use.”

In August he had promised to allow the businesses, which generate considerable revenues for the country with mostly Asian facing casinos, as long as all operators paid proper taxes and a trust fund was set up to provide medicine for the nation’s considerable poor population. Other conditions referred to PhilWeb’s eGame cafés that used a form of RTG slots and provided other gambling games and sports betting. Those venues were not to be allowed near schools or churches.

Duterte said the government has no effective means to monitor online gambling or the taxation of it. It’s unclear if the president considers the eGame cafés to be online gaming. The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) had said earlier that the eGame cafés would receive a new license after being revoked earlier. The cafés were reportedly expected to open in the next few days.

Leading up to the president’s decision may have been the arrest of over 1,300 Chinese nationals found operating a casino call center at Fontana Leisure Park in late November. In the last few days, some 600 of them have been released on bail, all were undocumented workers with most having overstayed their visas. The casino and another operated by Macau junket businessman Jack Lam were shuttered in early December.

Pagcor had only recently begun offering online gambling licenses. About 75 online casinos serving offshore gamblers are licensed in the Cagayan Special Economic Zone (CEZA). First Cagayan “monitors over 50 operators” and has issued over 135 licenses according to their website. The Aurora Special Economic Zone and Freeport Authority (APECO) had also recently begun offering online casino licenses.

This article has been updated with the following information:

It would seem that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has either changed course once again or asked Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II to clarify an unambiguous statement widely reported by local media on Thursday that Duterte was, “ordering the closure of all online gaming, All of it. It has no use.”

Today The Standard is reporting that the president ordered his Justice Secretary to investigate: “I was given a marching order to investigate the Peza and online gambling… I have talked with [Executive Secretary Salvador] Medialdea and [Special Assistant to the President] Bong [Go], they are now drafting the scope of my authority to investigate online gambling,” The Standard reports Aguirre has said.

Duterte has reportedly said that the action stems from Jack Lam’s online gambling operations which were taking place from the Fontana resort.

There are widely varying reports coming out of the country from a call to arrest the head of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) to the possibility that all licenses other than the new Philippine Offshore Gambling Operator (POGO) issued by Pagcor would be revoked and operators could continue business with one of the new licenses. In early October Pagcor confirmed that 76 operators had applied for the first 25 licenses supposed to become available. On December 2 the Philippine Star reported that “about 35” of the licenses had been issued.

While not a gambling regulator and not usually associated with online gambling in the Philippines, PEZA has over 300 economic zones spread across the country. Many are business process outsourcing and knowledge process outsourcing firms, which definition may bring Jack Lam’s shuttered Fontana call center into the picture, but that is still unclear.

With a flair for the unexpected, readers can expect an ever-changing story until Duterte’s ‘war on gambling’ settles out.

2016年6月30日,makati新任市长上任,一直没有为线上博彩行业颁发新的商业注册执照。目前已知需要变更的CEZA企业37家,2015年底已更新商业注册执照的公司不受影响。

但马上接近年底需要更新2017年的商业注册执照,如果都不能更新,所有makati网络博彩公司全部面临着非法经营的境地。

菲律宾总统杜特地近期内部会议准备将菲律宾博彩行业统一由PAGCOR(菲律宾娱乐和博彩公司)管理,目前的信息表明PAGCOR将试图接管所有的博彩业,众所周知,之前的博彩行业牌照是由FCLRC(第一卡卡杨公司)和管理者CEZA(经济特区管委会)颁发,如果PAGCOR接管所有的博彩业。同样作为菲律宾网络博彩业的运营者第一卡卡杨公司和管理者CEZA经济特区管委会又将何去何从呢?新近批准的博彩经济特区APECO又将面临什么样的结局呢?之前的几万中国人的CEZA签证又何去何从呢?第一卡卡杨公司花重金投资的TECHZONE 又会怎么样?

据可靠的内部消息,杜特地总统将在10月3日召开内阁会议予以研究,目前已知的是PAGCOR(菲律宾娱乐和博彩公司),已经开始接受网络牌照的申请,总数量颁发20-30张牌照。如果网络博彩都划归PAGCOR管理,恐怕各公司会付出更高成本。

根据内部消息PAGCOR每年计划100亿比索的收入,之前各个公司都是很小的代价,每个公司每年仅仅交税在5万比索左右,而且这个税金还是上交给土格加劳的税务局,马卡地的市政府几乎没有什么收入。这也是新市政府一直没有给新的商业注册执照原因之一。

不过好时光即将一去不复返,据悉,新的博彩牌照申请及批准费用将会大大增加,牌照申请费依据项目不同4-5万美金,牌照批准费20万美金,加上其他费用 申请一次半年牌照成本大约25万美金左右。

目前菲律宾政府已经开始整顿博彩行业,已经向Leisure & Resorts World 公司和Total Gamezone Extreme Inc公司动手。菲律宾博彩业正在变革时期,可谓山雨欲来风满楼。

(马尼拉路透电)菲律宾新总统杜特尔特一上任就表明要制止网上赌博,当地博彩业监管机构随即宣布将暂停发放网络宾果游戏厅和网络游戏咖啡座的营业执照。

杜特尔特周四在新政府首个内阁会议上誓言要制止网上赌博活动蔓延,并将其与打击犯罪和贩毒以及解决交通拥堵列为新政府的要务。

菲官方数据显示,在刚卸任的阿基诺政府执政六年期间,新开张的博彩游戏咖啡座激增,这些咖啡座设有电脑让顾客上网玩扑克牌、吃角子机、乐透游戏。

菲律宾的网络宾果游戏机从阿基诺2010年6月上台时的2160台,增加至目前的1万2000台;网络博彩游戏机从4662台增至7000台;网络游戏咖啡座从190家增至277家。

菲律宾博彩业监管机构菲律宾娱乐博彩公司(Pagcor)新任主席多明戈周五接受电台访问时表示:“我们将冻结发放这类游戏厅的营业执照,然后再检讨总统所说的话。”

菲律宾新政府向网上博彩业宣战的消息传出后,导致当地博彩公司的股价纷纷退低。PhilWeb集团股价周五下滑32%,创下近14个月的新低,该集团经营277个网络游戏厅,拥有8977台博彩终端机,会员人数超过9万人;Leisure & Resorts World集团股价滑落8.9%至五个月新低,该集团持菲律宾卡格扬自由口岸的网络博彩执照。

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