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Philippines Bank Chief Says Online Gambling Ban Will Not Impact Local Economy

Niji Narayan

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Philippines Bank Chief Says Online Gambling Ban Will Not Impact Local Economy
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Philippines Central Bank Governor Benjamin Diokno has told that the banning of online gambling will not have much impact on the Philippines economy.

“There’s some benefits, in terms of if they pay their taxes but there are also some risks. I tend to be risk averse. I’d rather they leave, if I have my way,” Diokno said.

China recently urged Manila to outlaw the cross-border activities it says pose money laundering risks.

Online gambling companies, known in the Philippines as POGOs for Philippine offshore gambling operators, are a boon for the local economy, drawing many visitors from China who work in them, fuelling property demand and retail spending.

Diokno said that the industry contributed only “a few billion” pesos in tax and had little impact on the real estate sector, while he said it presented “a risk of money laundering.”

The Philippine gaming regulator has stopped issuing licenses to online gambling firms. The lawmakers and some ministers have called for tighter controls on Chinese visitors, saying many are illegal workers whose presence raises security concerns.

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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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Asia

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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Asia

IEC Secures Casino Licence in Manila

Niji Narayan

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IEC Secures Casino Licence in Manila
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Hong Kong-based International Entertainment Corporation (IEC) has obtained a provisional licence to operate a casino in Manila.

In June the firm, which operates New World Manila Bay Hotel and Casino through its subsidiary Marina Square Properties (MSPI), said it planned to redevelop an unnamed existing hotel to create a new integrated resort (IR) in the capital.

In a filing on Friday, it confirmed it has received a letter from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (PAGCOR) conditionally approving the issuance of a provisional licence.

The firm said: “MSPI and PAGCOR will further negotiate for the terms of the provisional licence agreement to be entered into between PAGCOR and MSPI in relation to the grant of the provisional licence.

“As and when there is further development in relation to the provisional licence agreement, the company will comply with all relevant requirements, and where necessary, make further announcements in accordance with the Listing Rules as and when appropriate.”

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