In the Philippines, civic leaders for Quezon City have reportedly passed an ordinance that would allow Bloomberry Resorts Corporation to bring a new integrated casino resort to the community’s under-construction Ayala Malls Vertis North retail complex.

Strings attached:

According to a report from GGRAsia citing an earlier story from the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper, the motion was approved by the community’s city council late last week only after a provision had been included that would require Filipino nationals to pay a ‘high entrance fee’ in order to play in the envisioned casino.

Singapore model:

The newspaper reportedly explained that local leaders inserted the unspecified entry fee stipulation in hopes that it will help to prevent players from developing an addiction to gambling. Its inclusion also came after they had investigated a similar scheme utilized in Singapore that requires home-grown casino aficionados not holding an annual membership costing approximately $1,472 to pay about $73.60 every time they want to enter one of the city’s two gambling venues, which encompass the giant Resorts World Sentosa development alongside the iconic Marina Bay Sands facility.

Legal challenge:

Joy Belmonte, Vice-Mayor for Quezon City, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that the entry fee provision, which was joined by a condition that calls for the establishment of a local gaming regulator, relies heavily on a national mandate that municipal governments should ‘look after the welfare’ of their residents. But, she stated that her office now expects the country’s Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation authority to file a lawsuit in hopes of obtaining a ‘temporary restraining order’ against the imposition of the charge.

Belmonte stated…

“I welcome [such a court order] so the courts can decide whether it’s the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation’s charter or the local government code that has precedence.”

Grand plans:

According to an earlier report from GGRAsia, Bloomberry already operates the Solaire Resort and Casino in the Entertainment City district of metropolitan Manila and has hopes of bringing a similarly-branded facility to the Ayala Malls Vertis North development by 2022. The operator earlier revealed that its envisioned 3.7-acre venue is to be aimed at mass-market players and furthermore feature a range of non-gambling amenities such as multiple restaurants and numerous meeting facilities.