MANILA, Philippines – Hoping it could prevent local casino patrons from gambling, a legislator filed a bill that requires P3,500 entrance fee on all casino venues.
House Bill No. 4859, or “An Act imposing the payment of entrance fee to residents of the Philippines who patronize casinos,” was filed in the 16th Congress by Misamis Oriental Representative Peter Unabia. He believes that imposing entrance fees on casinos would discourage locals from gambling.
“It would discourage the locals from gambling in casinos,” Unabia noted.
“The Corporation (PAGCOR) is hereby authorized, upon the approval of the President of the Philippines, to increase the entrance fee as required every five years,” the bill stated.
Unabia cited that since charter of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation or PAGCOR does not require entrance fees in casinos, anyone is free to enter the venue to play. Some people got hooked on gambling despite poverty, and they would rather spend their money on gambling than to be productive and improve their financial status.
According to Unabia, several countries have been imposing the same measure, including Singapore which obliges all locals to pay $100 Singapore Dollars as entrance fee to casinos.
Casinos in Monaco also charges entrance fees, but only to foreigners, because local residents are not allowed to enter the venue.
Unabia stated that under the Presidential Decree 1896 Section 14 (3) (b), ‘a resident must have a gross income for the previous year of at least P50,000, as certified by the Bureau of Internal Revenue, in order to be allowed to play in the casino.’
“In reality, however, this requirement is neither observed nor imposed,” he said.
Aside from preventing financially inadequate people from gambling, Unabia also noted that “The amount realized in requiring entrance fees will serve as additional revenues for the socio-civic programs of the government as mandated by PD 1869.”