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PAGCOR Press Statement on Quezon City’s insistence to impose casino entry fees

George Miller

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PAGCOR Press Statement on Quezon City's insistence to impose casino entry fees
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As Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte continues to insist on the imposition of entrance fees to Quezon City residents who wish to play in casinos and other gambling facility in the area, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) underscores several cases and provisions that cite the supremacy of national government over local government units.

First, in “Basco vs. PAGCOR (1991)”, wherein the City of Manila filed a case seeking to annul the PAGCOR charter, the court ruled that Presidential Decree (P.D.) 1869 waived the right of the city to impose taxes and fees. The court decision cited that the power of the local government to impose taxes and fees “is always subject to limitations which Congress may provide by law.”

It furthered that P.D. 1869 remains an operative law, until amended or repealed.

Another case, “City of Cagayan de Oro vs. Pryce and PAGCOR (1994)”, cited that ordinances should not contravene a statute that is obvious. It stated that “municipal governments are only agents of the national government; and local councils exercise only delegated legislative powers from Congress as the national law-making body.” Hence, local government units cannot be superior to Congress from which they derive their powers.

The third case, “Herbert Bautista vs. PAGCOR (2016)”, cited that under its Charter, PAGCOR and its agents are exempted from paying local taxes as P.D. 1869 Section 13 provides that “no tax of any kind or form, income or otherwise, as well as fees, charges or levies of whatever nature, whether national or local, shall be assessed and collected under this Franchise from the Corporation nor shall any form of tax or charge attach in any way to the earnings of the Corporation, except a franchise tax of five percent of the gross revenue or earnings derived by the Corporation from its operation under this franchise.”

The entry fees on the city residents who will enter the casino which the Quezon City local government is contemplating on imposing, takes the form of “tax” because of its nature to generate revenues.

However, if the purpose of the imposition of entry fees is to discourage citizens to frequent gaming facilities, such practice is an obvious exercise of police power, and in fact, an encroachment on the function of a national regulatory entity.

PAGCOR, having been granted by Congress with the power to regulate gambling, has the authority to determine the rules and regulations that may deem fit in the regulation of the gaming industry.

If PAGCOR does not find it necessary to impose entrance fees to its clients, then Quezon City’s local government cannot supersede this even if it claims that the imposition of entry fees is only applicable to their constituents.

Besides, if the local government of Quezon City believes that doing such is tantamount only to “safeguarding the welfare of their people”, why did it grant so many Letters of No Objection (LONOs) and Resolutions of No Objection (RONOs) to bingo and other electronic gaming sites in Quezon City?

As of February 28, 2019, there are 97 electronic gaming sites in Quezon City. Of this number, 63 are bingo sites and 34 are eGames gaming sites. This figure does not include the LONO and RONO granted by Quezon City government to Solaire Resort and Casino.

George Miller started his career in content marketing and has started working as an Editor/Content Manager for our company in 2016. George has acquired many experiences when it comes to interviews and newsworthy content becoming Head of Content in 2017. He is responsible for the news being shared on multiple websites that are part of the European Gaming Media Network.

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Asia

Operators, Investment Firms Confirmed Sponsors of the Kyushu – Nagasaki IR Business Connect Seminar

George Miller

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Operators, Investment Firms Confirmed Sponsors of the Kyushu – Nagasaki IR Business Connect Seminar
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The Kyushu – Nagasaki IR Business Connect Seminar (to be held on 27 June 2019) has confirmed at least six international operators and investment groups who have agreed to support the event and speak to attendees. The operators in attendance will be presenting on a variety of topics to an expected audience of nearly 500 participants.

Confirmed event sponsors now include Agora Hospitality Group, Current Corp. – Sofitel Macau at Ponte 16 & Get Nice Holdings Limited, Oshidori International Development Limited, Disaster Support Foundation and Casino Austria International, as well as one international operator who has asked to remain anonymous until the event date. Each of the sponsors will be given time to present individually, where they will introduce their organizations, visions for the future of an integrated resort in Nagasaki Prefecture as well as how they foresee economic integration with the Greater Kyushu Region at large. Problem gaming will also be a topic for discussion. A second session will include a panel discussion which will be chaired by Mr. Andrew Edsall of The Carter Group, a Japanese market research firm based in Tokyo.

The event is expected to draw attendance from Nagasaki Prefecture as well as the Greater Kyushu Region across both the public and private sectors. Additional attendees will include event supporters such as the Nagasaki Prefecture and Sasebo City Governments and a variety of Chambers of Commerce and Economic Federations from throughout Kyushu. The event is seen as the first major IR seminar in the region and follows the recent announcement at the Kyushu Regional Strategy Conference that confirmed agreement for the support of a Nagasaki-based IR by all Kyushu Governors as well as the governors of Okinawa and Yamaguchi.

It is expected that attendees will be interviewed after the event to gauge feedback based on the presentations given and will be passed to the event supporters to further study and understand public perception and IR support within the region.

 

About HOGO:

HOGO is a marketing strategy and corporate communications company that focuses on the tourism, hospitality, gaming and entertainment industries. Based in Macau, the agency has offices in Hong Kong, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia and Japan. Focused on creative marketing and strategic vision, HOGO works with clients to further develop and build their brands throughout Asia Pacific.

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Asia

Philippine Stock Exchange Delists Melco Resorts

Niji Narayan

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Philippine Stock Exchange Delists Melco Resorts
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Melco Resorts and Entertainment has been delisted from the Philippine Stock Exchange after falling below the PSE’s minimum required threshold for public ownership.

The delisting comes six months after Melco completed the crossing over of shares from a tender offer aimed at increasing the shareholding of MCO Investments Limited. The stakes were increased from 72.54% to 96.1%, pushing the amount held by other shareholders well below the required 10% minimum public ownership requirement.

Melco (Philippines) is also looking to further decrease the public holding via a reduction in the number of common shares in the company from 5.9 billion to just 11,800, with the value of each share increasing from Php1 to Php500,000.

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Asia

RGB Signs Deal with KL Saberi and Atlas

Niji Narayan

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RGB Signs Deal with KL Saberi and Atlas
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RGB International Bhd, the Malaysia based gaming machine distributor, has secured the rights to distribute EGMs on behalf of two new manufacturers – KL Saberi and Atlas. The KL Saberi is owned by Kangwon Land, the only Korean casino in which locals can legally gamble, while Atlas is an Australian firm operating out of Victoria.

Datuk Chuah Kim Seah, MD of RGB told that RGB was planning to launch 200 units of the new brands in the Philippines, Cambodia and Vietnam this year via the company’s Sales and Marketing division.

“In the Philippines, some 600 gaming machines have already been installed in the casino according to the terms and conditions of the contract,” Chuah said.

RGB previously revealed it had signed contracts to install 1700 units in 2019, of which 1300 are in the Philippines.

When all are installed, “these 1300 machines will generate a yield of at least US$50 million for the group over the next five years,” Chuah added.

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