Pagcor: Resorts World Manila attack won’t hurt gaming sector’s income

Manila, Philippines – The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) expects the Resorts World Manila (RWM) assault won’t substantially affect the country’s developing gambling business.

Pagcor Executive Andrea D. Domingo said the local gaming industry’s total incomes this year may even now develop to P160 billion, noting they have yet observed any effect of the recent casino assault on casino operators.

Pagcor is anticipating that the industry’s gaming incomes will grow by 14 percent this year from P149.12 billion a year before.

Last June 2, a solitary shooter, identified by the Police as Jessie Javier Carlos, entered the Resorts World Manila hotel-casino in Pasay City, and set flames that suffocated 37 visitors, before he killed himself.

Domingo said Pagcor is conducting a separate investigation concerning the casino assault and has already asked the Resorts World Manila management to present all its CCTV footages.

Once the investigation is finished, Domingo cautioned that Pagcor may suggest possible penalty against the operator of RWN casino.

Whenever inquired as to whether RWM could face possible closure taking after the incident, the Pagcor chief said they will investigate the case to decide if there is any negligence on the part of the gaming operator.

“Resorts World Manila has sizeable investments here, it’s difficult to order a closure just because of this single incident. There are many things that we have to consider,” Domingo said.

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The local gaming sector is required to contribute around P58 billion to P60 billion to government coffers this year, the Pagcor chief said.

In a related development, Domingo declared that Pagcor will limit its accredited Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) at 50.

Jose S. Tria Jr., special assistant to Pagcor’s chairman and chief executive explained that Pagcor needs to execute a moratorium on online casinos to avoid over saturation in the market.

Tria disclosed Pagcor has officially granted a total of 42 POGO licenses since September, while 12 applications are as yet pending subject to stringent scrutiny by the gaming regulator.

The government, through Pagcor, is collecting in any event $150,000 monthly from the gross gaming incomes of every e-casino operator and charges $200,000 yearly in license fees.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), on the other hand, imposes a five percent levy on Pagcor’s salary from online gaming.

To guarantee every authorized operator are heeding to Pagcor regulations, Tria said they will make a team to monitor the gaming activities of the service providers.

Internet betting is a legitimate business with a global market estimation of $35.97 billion in 2014 and is estimated to develop to $66.59 billion by 2020 in the midst of the rapidly rising popularity of mobile devices.

More than 80 countries, including the Philippines, have authorized online gambling and Europe has the biggest market on the world.