The Philippines Advised to Levy Entry Fees in the Casinos

Philippines flagAccording to a report published recently by National Tax Center of Philippines under the Department of Finance, Philippines should levy charge entry fees from all the people who are visiting the casinos across the country.

According to National Tax Center, casinos in the Philippines should charge a minimum of $10 or PHP500 with a maximum limit of $30 or PHP 1,500 from all the visitors.

The Philippines House of Representatives has earlier proposed to levy entry fees in the casinos more before in 2016 and 2017 where visitors had to pay a whopping amount of PHP3,000 and PHP3,500. The earlier proposal could not materialise as the amount was very high and too restrictive at the same time.

All the foreign visitors can gain free entry in the casinos of Philippines under the Presidential Decree 1869. However, locals can only gain entry when they submit their income proof of PHP50,000 annually. According to the report by the National Tax Center, this rule has not being implemented in a majority of casinos in the country.

The proposal for charging entry fees from the visitors has been on the table for quite some time in the past, but nothing worthwhile has happened till date. According to a gaming ordinance proposed in October last year, an entry fee of PHP1500 was suggested by the city council of Quezon City in the Eastern Manila district of Philippines.

This fee applies to all the casinos across the country. This entry fee was in response to the plans of Bloomberry Resorts Corp for building a new casino in the second half of 2018.

The gaming authority and regulator of the country, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (PAGCOR) would be collecting amount generated from the entry fees in the casinos. PAGCOR is entitled to receive qualifying fee from players in the casinos under “Executive Order 48” in the Philippines.

This gaming regulator had collected PHP20.2 million in 2005 which declined to PHP14.4 million in 2016. The Executive Order can allow PAGCOR to obtain the entry fee amount from all the casinos without any hassles as laws are already enforced.

The report goes on saying:

In view of Executive Order 48, there is no need for a bill that would mandate Pagcor to collect a casino entrance fee. Perhaps what can be done is to make the collection of qualifying fee compulsory for players in all casinos operating in the Philippines.

The story further goes into telling a drop of 80% of local gambling if the entry fee of PHP1,500 is imposed on the casinos. But on the other hand, it would increase the gaming revenue by an additional PHP1.67 billion.

Jay Stevens

Jay Stevens

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