Solon wants hefty entrance fee for Pinoys in casinos
Dennis Carcamo (The Philippine Star) - September 1, 2014 - 12:46pm

MANILA, Philippines - A legislator has proposed a bill in Congress seeking to impose a P3,500 entrance fee for all Filipinos patronizing casinos. 

Misamis Oriental Rep. Peter “Sr. Pedro” Unabia said House Bill 4859 will prevent financially inadequate persons from entering casinos.

The bill amends Presidential Decree 1869, otherwise known as “Consolidating and Amending Presidential Decrees 1067-A, 1067-B, 1067-C, 1399 And 1632, Relative to the Franchise and Powers of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).”

Unabia said the charter of PAGCOR yields no requirement of an entry fee for anyone who wants to play in the casino.

However, Section 14 (3) (b) of Presidential Decree 1869 states that a resident must have a gross income of at least P50,000 for the previous year, as certified by the Bureau of Internal Revenue to be allowed to play, Unabia noted.

“In reality, however, this requirement is neither observed nor imposed,” Unabia said.

Unabia said PAGCOR has been implementing their built-in controls such as the issuance of player tracking system (PTS) cards or loyalty cards for casino patrons; betting at minimum bets of P500 in a single play for baccarat tables and establishment of casinos in locations where financially inadequate individuals cannot enter including luxury resorts and 3-star hotels at the minimum.

He said it is alarming that many Filipinos want to gamble instead of doing something more concrete to improve their lives other than waging hard-earned money in gambling, particularly, in casinos.

“The imposition of an entrance fee will discourage the locals from gambling in casinos,” Unabia said.

Unabia said the amount realized in requiring entrance fees will serve as additional revenues for the socio-civic programs of the government.

BILL BUREAU OF INTERNAL REVENUE CASINOS CONSOLIDATING AND AMENDING PRESIDENTIAL DECREES FRANCHISE AND POWERS OF THE PHILIPPINE AMUSEMENT AND GAMING CORPORATION HOUSE BILL MISAMIS ORIENTAL REP PRESIDENTIAL DECREE SR. PEDRO UNABIA
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