Thursday June 7, 2012 : MANILA COUNCILLORS ON THE WARPATH AGAINST GAMBLING
PAGCOR internet operators ignore regulatory requirements, say city fathers
The city fathers of Manila, capital city of the Philippines, may soon ban all forms of gambling within the city boundaries, local media reported Thursday.
Councillors have already passed a second reading of a prohibitionary measure triggered by concerns over the proliferation of illegal forms of gambling.
The reports suggest that city councillors are outraged that gambling operators have ignored their authority over Manila to operate, even in restricted areas.
According to the rules of the Philippine Gaming Corporation, the operators – many of them offering internet cafe style gambling – are required to secure a no-objection resolution from local city councils if:
• The proposed location of a gambling site is located within 200 meters of schools or churches, and
• There is a local ordinance prohibiting the establishment of a gambling venue unless certain conditions are met.
Operators have not been seeking the approval of councils, triggering anti-operator sentiment.
A spokesman for PAGCOR's legal department said that licensees were being warned about the situation and were being encouraged to seek council approvals rather than risk confrontations.
However, he pointed out, councils needed to come to the party by expediting approvals that were often held up by bureaucratic delays.