Philippine business district halts new online casino permits

  • ASEAN+
  • Monday, 09 Dec 2019

Makati City in Manila, the financial hub of the Philippines. - ANN

MANILA: Makati City has declared a moratorium on new online casinos in the Philippines’ main business district, citing an "overheating” leasing market and rising criminality.

The city will no longer accept new applications for online casinos known as Philippine offshore gaming operators, or POGOs, and will crack down against illegal activities related to the industry, Makati City Mayor Abby Binay (pic) said in a statement.

Thousands of foreign workers employed by POGOs have increased the demand for homes and work stations for rent.

"This puts the local property sector at risk of overheating, where its growth becomes unsustainable,” Binay said.

Makati, home to as many as 300 POGOs that mainly employ Chinese nationals, has been earning more than 200 million pesos a year in local business taxes from the industry, she said.

She also added that Philippines will also not issue new online casino licenses to those businesses originating from countries like Cambodia.

The Philippines is also keeping its door shut for new online casinos to avoid a proliferation of the industry similar to what happened in Cambodia, said its gaming chief.

In fact, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. is also regulating the issuance of new licenses for both land-based and online casinos.

“We want to rationalise so that everybody with a license has a good chance of being successful,” Chairman Andrea Domingo said in Manila. - Bloomberg

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