As it steps up efforts to stop operations that cater to local players, the Philippine Amusement And Gaming Corporation has reportedly revoked 124 online gaming licenses over the past month and intends to deny upcoming renewals for some 626 others.
According to a report from the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper, the crackdown follows the recent election of gambling opponent Rodrigo Duterte as the nation’s 16th President and could have already cost the state-run organization up to $212.5 million a year in revenues.
Andrea Domingo, the recently-appointed President and Chief Executive Officer for the Philippine Amusement And Gaming Corporation, stated that the regulator and operator intended not to renew licenses for 302 online games operations alongside those for 324 electronic bingo outlets and declared that the move could affect its annual revenue target for 2017 of $1.06 billion.
The revelations came on Friday at a forum organized by the Capampangan In Media Incorporated organization where Domingo additionally proclaimed that an executive order setting out the government’s policy on online gambling is being prepared.
Domingo further revealed that the government is hoping to establish a task force against illegal gambling following meetings later this week with the nation’s Gaming And Amusement Board, Philippine National Police and National Bureau Of Investigation while it is moreover considering proposing legislation that would merge the Philippine Amusement And Gaming Corporation with the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office.
“[The Philippine Amusement And Gaming Corporation], in promoting responsible gaming, treats casinos not as stand-alone projects but as part of a whole package of entertainment,” said Domingo.
The newspaper reported that the Philippine Amusement And Gaming Corporation operates eleven casinos in the country alongside 45 satellites facilities while regulating the activities of a further eleven private gambling establishments. It handed over $369.9 million in tax during the first six months of the year with $31.8 million of this going to the state via a “franchise tax” alongside a further 50% for use by government agencies including the Dangerous Drugs Board and the Philippine Sports Commission.
Domingo proclaimed that the government now intends to use the proceeds it receives from gambling to fund health projects and has proposed turning over all of the Philippine Amusement And Gaming Corporation’s income to the Bureau Of Treasury so that funds can be better disbursed.