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PAGCOR Chief disagrees with President Duterte over new casino ban

Niji Narayan

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PAGCOR Chief disagrees with President Duterte over new casino ban
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Andrea Domingo, the Head of PAGCOR, the Philippines gaming regulator, expressed his opposition to President Rodrigo Duterte’s ban on the issue of new casino licenses. She said that the country will fall behind other Asian hospitality industry if the ban stays.

She wants the President to use a more selective means of choosing whether new casino licenses should be issued. Speaking to Bloomberg, Ms Domingo said: “Gaming seems to be the sunrise industry now in Asia. There are still areas in the Philippines that can still absorb and benefit from these investments, which won’t go here with the current ban.”

A ban on new casino licenses was introduced in January 2018 for five years ending plans for Macau operator Galaxy Entertainment to build on the island of Boracay.

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Asia

Singapore’s Home Ministry Confirms Launch of GRA by 2021

Niji Narayan

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Singapore’s Home Ministry Confirms Launch of GRA by 2021
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Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs has confirmed the establishment of the Gambling Regulatory Authority (GRA) by 2021.

According to a statement from the ministry in April, the new body will be a statutory board and will be reconstituted from the current Casino Regulatory Authority (CRA).

“The Ministry of Home Affairs will establish the Gambling Regulatory Authority and complete the review of gambling-related legislation in 2021,” a spokesperson said.

Notwithstanding the Covid-19 pandemic, the Singapore authorities said they were pushing forward with the plans to create the new body that will be responsible for “regulating the entire gambling landscape in Singapore.”

The Singapore authorities have said the move to consolidate regulatory functions under the GRA would ensure Singapore was “abreast of technological and global trends,” and could “respond faster to emerging products in particular those that cut across different domains, and take a more holistic approach to gambling policies and issues.”

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Asia

Donaco Reopens DNA Star Vegas

Niji Narayan

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Donaco Reopens DNA Star Vegas
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Donaco International has reopened DNA Star Vegas with limited operations on September 25.

Donaco does not expect any material additional expenses to be incurred following the limited reopening of the casino as the border with Thailand, where most of the casino’s patrons have traditionally originated, remains closed.

The company will continue to maintain its tight cost control strategy, while operations remain at limited operating capacity – and management will maintain the discretion to tailor up or down the pace of operations to local conditions.

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Macau Lawmaker Jose Maria Pereira Coutinho Calls for Legalisation of Online Gambling

Niji Narayan

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Macau Lawmaker Jose Maria Pereira Coutinho Calls for Legalisation of Online Gambling
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Macau lawmaker Jose Maria Pereira Coutinho has urged the enclave government to legalise online gambling in order to help overcome the economic challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Macau should introduce interactive gaming. The Macau SAR government should establish official standards and regulations on interactive gaming, and develop interactive gaming software together, in order to increase revenue from gaming tax and to further develop gaming industries,” Coutinho said.

Gross gaming revenue in Macau is down 81.6% January through August, casino win totalling roughly $4.5 billion. The six licensed casino operators in the Chinese Special Administrative Region won approximately $24.8 billion during the same eight months in 2019.

Taxes from casino gambling account for nearly 90% of Macau’s government revenue. With the money plummeting due to the coronavirus, and the enclave largely isolating itself from the rest of the world, including the mainland, Coutinho believes taking casinos online is a viable remedy.

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